Ryan: Shutdown Unnecessary but Continuing Resolution Is Needed

Speaker anticipates Senate lag in processing of appropriations bills

Speaker Paul D.. Ryan, R-Wis., said a short-term continuing resolution will likely be needed to keep the government open. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan said Wednesday that a government shutdown is unnecessary but that a short-term continuing resolution will likely be needed to keep the government open beyond Sept. 30. 

“I think that will probably be necessary, yes, because I can’t imagine the Senate will be able to process the appropriations bills as quickly as the House is,” the Wisconsin Republican said during a press conference at Intel in Portland, Oregon. 

Ryan was at Intel to promote GOP plans to overhaul the tax code but reporters were quick to ask him about President Donald Trump’s threat, made Tuesday at a rally in Phoenix, to “close down our government” to secure funding for a border wall. 

“I don’t think a government shutdown is necessary, and I don’t think most people want to see a government shutdown, ourselves included,” Ryan said.

“The House already has passed funding for border security, including building physical barriers like a wall in the places that are necessary. … This is a need that needs to be addressed,” the speaker added.

However, Ryan suggested that getting a spending measure that includes funding for the wall would be a heavier lift in the Senate. 

“The fact is though — given the time of year it is and the rest of the appropriations we have to do — we’re going to need more time to complete our appropriations process, particularly in the Senate,” he said. 

Ryan said he has spoken with Trump about the fall agenda and the timeline.

“We do agree that we need to have the physical barrier on the border. … And we’ve been talking over the year and the last few weeks about how best to achieve that,” the speaker said.

Ryan also addressed Trump’s criticism of Arizona Republican Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake during his Tuesday rally. 

“I think the president feels that that’s a strategy that works for him,” the speaker said. “I would just say that I think it’s important that we all stay unified as Republicans to complete our agenda. Those two gentleman are people I respect, know, like, and are friends with.”

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