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Speaker Ryan: Congress Will Pay Billions For U.S.-Mexico Wall

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MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) --  President Donald Trump's U.S. - Mexico border wall will cost billions of dollars paid for by Congress, said Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan on Thursday.

Ryan said Congress will pay $12 billion to $15 billion for the wall by this fall.

The Wisconsin Republican made his comments to reporters in Philadelphia, where GOP lawmakers are holding their annual strategy retreat.

Ryan was pressed on whether the wall's price tag would be added to the deficit — or whether Congress would find some ways to offset the cost but he wouldn't commit.

The point, Ryan says, is that Congress will pay for "the construction of a physical barrier on the border."

Ryan's comments come a day after President Trump signed an executive order advancing construction of the wall. The president is set to speak to the lawmakers later Thursday.

While the wall does not seem to be an issue within the party, the stance on torture is.

GOP leaders in the House and Senate say torturing suspected terrorists is illegal and that stand distances them from President Trump's endorsement of the effectiveness of harsh interrogation techniques.

The U.S. has a legal ban on torture.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky told reporters that virtually all GOP senators "are comfortable with the state of the law on that issue."

It's a stance that Ryan reaffirms.

"Torture's not legal. And we agree with it not being legal," said Speaker Ryan.

Trump told ABC News that he believes torture "absolutely" works.

A draft executive order obtained by The Associated Press directs a review of interrogation methods and seeks changes that won't breach the torture ban.

(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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