Editor's note: This piece has been updated.
Republican leadership in the House of Representatives says that President-elect Donald Trump's transition team has expressed to GOP leaders that Trump wants to fund the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border through the appropriations process as early as April.
Throughout his 2016 presidential campaign, Trump repeatedly promised to make Mexico pay for the wall. He began to deviate from that promise in October, when he specified that the United States would pay for the wall, but that Mexico would still reimburse the U.S. for the money spent on it.
Though the Trump team insists they have the authority to start the construction of the border wall, they do not have the funds to pay for it. A senior House GOP source told CNN that Trump officials have communicated their intent to utilize funding bills to pay for the wall.
"It was not done in the Obama administration, so by funding the authorization that's already happened a decade ago, we could start the process of meeting Mr. Trump's campaign pledge to secure the border," said Indiana Republican Rep. Luke Messer on Thursday. He added that it's "big dollars, but it's a question of priorities."
"Democrats may well find themselves in the position to shut down all of government to stop the buildout of a wall, or of a barrier, or of a fence," Messer said, referring to the April 28 deadline Congress has to pass a spending bill that keeps the government running.
In 2006, Democratic leaders and then-Senators Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Chuck Schumer voted for the "Secure Fence Act," which was a bill to secure the border, a point that Republicans use to Democrats should not have a problem voting for it again.
Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise wouldn't say whether Congress would force taxpayers to fund the wall, but insisted GOP leadership is working with Trump on the matter.
"We want President Trump to have all the tools he needs to build the wall," Scalise said. "We;re in talks with him on the details of it as they're still putting together their team. We still got a few months before there's another funding bill that's going to move. We're going to work with him to make sure we can get it done. We want to build a wall. He wants to build a wall," he said.
UPDATE: Trump responded to the report early Friday morning on Twitter, tweeting out, "The dishonest media does not report that any money spent on building the Great Wall (for sake of speed), will be paid back by Mexico later!"
The dishonest media does not report that any money spent on building the Great Wall (for sake of speed), will be paid back by Mexico later!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 6, 2017