House Speaker Paul Ryan, at a private dinner earlier this year, said he thought only “one member” wanted to build a wall across the entire U.S.-Mexico border, Breitbart News has learned from multiple sources with direct knowledge of the comments, including former Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO).The dinner, sources said, took place on the eve of the House’s passage of two relatively minor immigration bills at the end of June: Kate’s Law and sanctuary city reforms. The far wider reaching Davis-Oliver Act was tabled at the same time.
“Ryan told a group of Republicans he met with … that only one person wants a wall,” Tancredo told Breitbart News shortly after the dinner.
Tancredo took issue with the Speaker’s characterization of support for the wall within the House GOP. “Of course he means only one person in his entourage and of the leadership,” he told Breitbart News. “I know several people in Congress who want a wall and I know that there are millions of Americans who want a wall.”
“You have to understand the level of fear that exists in the Republican establishment about this issue,” Tancredo told Breitbart News, seeking to explain the pressures that Republican members of Congress face when addressing immigration.
“The Chamber of Commerce doesn’t want a wall … the pressure is greater from the Chamber of Commerce than it is from the members,” Tancredo, who for years in the House fought a mostly fruitless battle to get Congress to combat the flood of illegal immigration, added. “That’s the basic problem. It was then. It is now.”
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