The United States will fund the initial construction of a wall President Donald Trump plans to build on the Mexican border, according to Paul Ryan, the speaker of the US House of Representatives.
“First off, we’re going to pay for it and front the money,” he said in an interview with MSNBC on Wednesday, hours after Trump ordered construction of a long border wall between the US and Mexico to stop refugees.
Trump said in an earlier interview with ABC News that Mexico would reimburse “100 percent” of the 2,000-mile (3,200-kilometer) wall’s costs.
Ryan on Wednesday claimed that ordinary members of the Republican Party are committed to making Trump’s wall a reality, adding that there are “various ways” to force Mexico to pay for the project.
“There are a lot of different ways of getting Mexico to contribute to doing this,” he said. “There are different ways of defining how exactly they pay for it.”
“The point is, [Trump] has a promise that he made to the American people to secure our border,” Ryan added. “A wall is a big part of that. We agree with that goal.”
“We will be working with him to finance the construction of the physical barrier, including the wall, on the southern border,” he continued.
Trump has estimated that construction of the wall would cost $8 billion, vowing to force Mexico to foot the bill.
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto made it clear during a meeting with Trump in September last year that his country would not pay for the project.
On Wednesday, Nieto reiterated that “Mexico will not pay for any wall.”
“Far from uniting us, it divides us,” Pena Nieto said in a statement. “Mexico does not believe in walls.”
Trump propelled himself as the president of the United States by framing himself as an anti-establishment outsider, despite the fact that his campaign had been hit with many controversies since its inception in early 2015.
The New York businessman made several controversial remarks, including a call to ban all Muslims from coming to America as well as forced deportation of Mexican migrants by building the wall along the US-Mexico border.
He has also sought a database to track Muslims across the United States and said that the US would have “absolutely no choice” but to close down mosques.