02:50 - Source: CNN
Trump on border wall: 'I wasn't kidding'

Story highlights

Building a border wall was a central campaign promise for President Donald Trump

The Monitor, a local Texas paper, reported on Paul Ryan's plans to travel next week to Texas

CNN —  

House Speaker Paul Ryan and several other top congressional Republicans are visiting the Southwest border next week to talk to local officials and border agents about plans to build a wall, a House GOP member involved in the trips said Tuesday.

“The more people have knowledge of the Southern border the more they will understand what we literally can and cannot do,” Texas Republican John Carter told CNN. “And that’s important. They don’t need to hear it from us, who live down there.”

Carter, whose district isn’t on the border, said he has visited the area many times and wants others to see if for themselves.

“They need to see what they are talking about,” he said. “The river is not a straight line, it’s a curve.”

He said he supports President Donald Trump’s plan to erect a wall – a central 2016 campaign promise – but cautioned “it’s got to be strategic and there are places where it works and places where other things work.”

The Monitor, a local Texas paper, reported Monday that Ryan plans to travel to Texas next week, but the speaker’s office declined to comment to that publication or to CNN about the trip.

Carter told CNN he is also planning to lead another delegation of House members to the border in April. He said he hoped his colleagues and Trump administration officials would visit the area as they work on the details of legislation to pay for wall.

“I’d love to take any members down there who want to go,” he said.Republicans are split over how to pay for the wall, which Trump estimated on the campaign trail to be around $10 billion but various groups have put the figure at $15-25 billion. Members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus and Republican Study Committee said Tuesday any conversation about funding a border wall or border security projects – along with initiatives like infrastructure spending, Obamacare and military spending – must include spending cuts elsewhere.