When it comes to sticking together and showing a unified front, the GOP is almost a lost cause.
Look, Trump’s threat to tariff Mexico unless they actually enforce their strict immigration laws is purposely vague.
He needs to see Mexico take strong action, he did not impose a specific action, he just needed Mexico to come back to the negotiating table and make changes to reflect the new reality.
Representatives from Mexico will be here tomorrow to try to work something out – can’t the GOP Senators like Mitt Romney wait until they see what happens before they run to the media and attack Trump?
Remember, they can always use their Congressional powers to stop tariffs if they dare so this leaking to the press to hamstring Trump before the negotiation is a dumb move.
From Politico: Republicans are warning that President Donald Trump could face a shocking rebellion against him on the Senate floor if the president slaps Mexico with wide-ranging tariffs.
At a closed-door lunch Tuesday, two Trump administration officials laid out the president’s view: There is a crisis at the border and Mexico needs to stem the surge of migrants to avoid the new levies.
But White House deputy counsel Pat Philbin and Assistant Attorney General Steve Engel faced brutal push-back from the GOP, according to multiple senators, with some threatening that Trump could actually face a veto-proof majority to overturn the tariffs.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told reporters the party spent “almost our entire lunch” going back and forth with the administration and warned afterward “there is not much support in my conference for tariffs, that’s for sure.”
Summing up the mood of the lunch, Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) said, according to sources familiar with the matter: the administration “is trying to use tariffs to solve every problem but HIV and climate change.”
In March, 12 Republicans moved to reject Trump’s emergency declaration on the southern border, eight short of a veto-proof majority. But given the strong free-trade inclinations of the Senate GOP, the president could face a far larger condemnation if he ends up moving forward on the tariffs.
“The administration ought to be concerned about another vote of disapproval on another national emergency act, this time trying to implement tariffs. Tariffs are not real popular in the Republican conference,” said Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), who backed Trump’s first national emergency. “This would be a different vote… This would certainly give me great pause.”
Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), a close Trump ally, said that “a lot of Republican members of the Senate are tariff weary. It’s like: Anything but tariffs.” He said he could envision 20 Republicans opposing the president on the Senate floor if it came to that.
“The president has to consider whether or not a veto can be sustained. That would be a really good, important discussion for him to have with Republican members of Congress before going that route,” said Cramer, who was sympathetic to Trump and said lawmakers should lean on Mexican officials to avoid the political and economic calamity.
“When it comes to applying a tariff to Mexico, I for one would not support that. I do not favor tariffs being applied to friends like Mexico,” said Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah). “If there’s a vote I think it’s a very difficult vote for those of us who oppose tariffs. I would not be inclined to vote [for] a tariff against a friend.”