Senate Republicans Warn White House Against Mexico Tariffs – The New York Times

“There is not much support for tariffs in my conference, that’s for sure,” Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, said. “Our hope is that the tariffs will be avoided, and we will not have to answer any hypotheticals.”

Senator Mitt Romney, Republican of Utah, said he “would not be inclined to vote on a tariff against a friend,” but ventured that “what you’re likely to see is the Mexican government and our government finding some way to work on this collaboratively and not reach a tariff.”

Others were less convinced.

“He’s committed to this,” said Senator John Kennedy, Republican of Louisiana, who spoke with Mr. Trump on Sunday and was sure the president will proceed with the tariffs, regardless of the concerns. “He’s serious as four heart attacks and a stroke. He’s moving forward.”

Any vote to disapprove the tariffs would almost certainly face a presidential veto, meaning that both the House and Senate would have to muster two-thirds majorities to beat Mr. Trump. Opponents would use the same motion of disapproval that they tried to use to block the president from grabbing federal money for a border wall that was not appropriated for that purpose. That motion did pass Congress with significant Republican support, but not enough to overcome Mr. Trump’s veto.

Mr. Johnson warned White House officials that they should not count on a veto override vote going the same way. But Mr. Trump has supporters, and Republicans, especially in the House, have been loath to oppose him on immigration. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, once a moderate on immigration policy, took to Twitter to say he was within his rights to use tariffs to force Mexico’s hand.


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