With midterms close on the horizon for Congress, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan explained on Wednesday that the spending bills are a top priority and that the immigration bill is being delayed to August to garner more votes.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do,” he said during an interview on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends.”
Mr. Ryan said House Republicans are looking forward to passing an overhaul of career technical education this week, and appropriation bills are one of their top priorities following the August recess. Mr. Ryan will meet with President Trump about the spending bills later on Wednesday.
Defense spending is the next big bill looking to be passed, but the speaker explained there are many smaller appropriation and infrastructure bills in the works — also, $5 billion is set aside for the military.
“We really just want to get the military funded on time, on budget, on schedule this year,” he said.
Mr. Ryan said Congress wants to avoid needing a massive omnibus bill but is hopeful that the Senate will work with the lower chamber to pass more appropriations.
“We’re trying to break it up into pieces. That’s how the system — that’s how it’s supposed to work,” he said.
The speaker confirmed that $6.1 billion of the total $25 billion promised to the president is already set aside for the border wall, and construction is already underway.
“So there is money being spent on the wall, on the border, and that is happening right now,” Mr. Ryan said.
While Mr. Ryan touted Republicans’ focus on spending, he also noted that an immigration bill is still being worked on. Mr. Ryan said that proponents of the newest immigration bill asked to hold off on a vote, so they can work on gathering votes in August.
“This is a bill we don’t want to bring to the floor to see it fail. We want to make sure we have the votes before we bring it up,” he said.
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