Vice President Mike Pence stated the Trump administration still plans to compel Mexico to pay for a proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Pence's remark arrives after President Donald Trump omitted his campaign pledge to get Mexico to pay for the project from his address before a joint session of Congress on Feb. 28.
On March 1, Pence praised Trump's address, asserting that the president had outlined how he would follow through on his campaign promises.
"One of the things people saw last night is that the candidate Donald Trump is the President Donald Trump, and he spoke about those priorities," Pence told ABC News. "We're going to build a wall. We're going to enforce the laws of this country."
ABC anchor George Stephanopoulos noted to Pence that the president had not mentioned his pledge to make Mexico pay for the wall.
During his address, Trump had repeated his familiar campaign promise to build a wall along the border but left out the equally famous promise that Mexico would fund its construction.
"We will soon begin the construction of a great, great wall along our southern border," Trump said, reports Market Watch.
"[Trump] didn't say Mexico is going to pay for it," Stephanopoulos told Pence.
"Well, they are," Pence responded.
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto has repeatedly dismissed the idea that his country would pay for the wall.
On Jan. 11, Pena Nieto announced that his government would not help fulfill Trump's campaign promise, noting that the idea of the proposed wall was already insulting to Mexicans.
"It is evident that we have differences with the new United States government on some issues, such as a wall that Mexico absolutely will not pay for," Pena Nieto said during a gathering of Mexican diplomats in early January, The Guardian reports. "At no time will we accept anything that goes against our dignity as a country and our dignity as Mexicans."
After a heated public exchange between Pena Nieto and Trump that resulted in the Mexican president canceling his February visit to the U.S., both leaders agreed to not discuss the proposal publicly.
"They agreed not to discuss how it would be paid for publicly, but they would continue to ... have those discussions privately," White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters, according to Real Clear Politics.
The Department of Homeland Security estimates the proposed border wall could cost more than $21 billion to complete. As of Feb. 28, 225 companies had expressed an interest in working on the project, The Hill reports.
On March 1, Cemex President Rogelio Zambrano told local media that his Mexico-based company was open to providing cement for the project, according to Reuters.