Posts tagged with "Southern border"

Turning tail: Senate Republicans warn White House against Mexico tariffs

June 6, 2019

Et tu, GOP? Even the Senate Republican are starting to doubt the wisdom of Trump’s tariffs—especially those he means to impose against Mexico. After all, Americans like their avocados, tequila, and automobiles.

Indeed, according to a New York Times report, Republican senators sent the White House a clear and compelling message on June 4—warning that they were almost unanimously opposed to the president’s plans to establish tariffs on Mexican imports, just hours after the president said lawmakers would be “foolish” to try to stop him.

The administration’s latest move to intimidate the nation’s southern neighbor in the face of rising illegal immigration at the border will create a “tax” against Americans, the GOP claims (and Democrats agree). Trump has threatened to set 5% tariffs on all goods imported from Mexico, rising to as high as 25%, until the Mexican government stems the flow of migrants, the Times said.

Republican senators emerged from a closed-door lunch at the Capitol angered by the briefing they received from a deputy White House counsel and an assistant attorney general on the legal basis for the president to impose new tariffs by declaring a national emergency at the southern border.

“I want you to take a message back” to the White House, Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas), told the lawyers, according to Times sources. Cruz warned that “you didn’t hear a single yes” from the Republican conference. He called the proposed tariffs a $30 billion tax increase on Texans.

“I will yield to nobody in passion and seriousness and commitment for securing the border,” Mr. Cruz later told reporters. “But there’s no reason for Texas farmers and ranchers and manufacturers and small businesses to pay the price of massive new taxes.”

Texas would be hit the hardest by the proposed tariffs on Mexican products, followed by Michigan, California, Illinois and Ohio, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. A 25% tariff would threaten $26.75 billion of Texas imports.

In fact, the Chamber notes on its home page, “Imposing tariffs on Mexico is exactly the wrong move. These tariffs will be paid by American families and businesses without doing a thing to solve the very real problems at he border.

“We’re holding a gun to our own heads,” said Senator John Cornyn, (R-Texas).

If Mr. Trump were to declare an emergency to impose the tariffs, the House and the Senate could pass a resolution disapproving them. But such a resolution would almost certainly face a presidential veto, meaning that both the House and the Senate would have to muster two-thirds majorities to beat Mr. Trump.

Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin) said he warned the lawyers  during the closed-door meeting that the Senate could muster an overwhelming majority to beat back the tariffs, even if the president were to veto a resolution disapproving them. Republicans may be broadly supportive of Trump’s push to build a wall and secure the border, he said, but they oppose tying immigration policy to the imposition of tariffs on Mexico.

“The White House should be concerned about what that vote would result in, because Republicans really don’t like taxing American consumers and businesses,” Senator Johnson said.

However, the Times reported, when asked about Senate Republicans discussing ways to block the tariffs during his UK trip, President Trump responded, “I don’t think they will do that. I think if they do, it’s foolish.”

Research contact: @maggieNYT

Trump rips Republicans over ‘ridiculous’ spending bill: ‘Where is the money for the wall?’

September 21, 2018

President Donald Trump berated Congressional Republicans on September 20 over the lack of funding for his border wall in the spending bill passed on September 19—stoking a fight that GOP lawmakers had hoped to avoid until later after the elections in November, according to a report by The Hill.

The $854 billion appropriations bill was approved by the Senate on September 18 by a vote of 93-7, providing funding for the departments of Defense, Health and Human Services, Labor, and Education.

Six out of the seven opposing votes came for Republicans; Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) also gave a thumbs-down to the legislation.

The Senate version of the measure includes a continuing resolution that extends funding for all other agencies through December 7, after the midterm elections—offering a reprieve from the contentious border issue until after Americans have cast their votes.

The House is expected to take up the funding bill next week, ahead of the September 30 deadline to keep the government funded.

“I want to know, where is the money for Border Security and the WALL in this ridiculous Spending Bill, and where will it come from after the Midterms?” Trump asked in a 7:43 a.m. tweet, adding, “Dems are obstructing Law Enforcement and Border Security. REPUBLICANS MUST FINALLY GET TOUGH!”

According to The Hill, the president has repeatedly chastised lawmakers for failing to pass stricter immigration laws and has requested full funding for his proposed wall .

Indeed, earlier this year, the POTUS said he would be willing to shut down the government if he did not receive enough funding for the wall—and, in an exclusive interview with Hill.TV this week, Trump hinted that he intends to take an executive action on immigration in the coming weeks, although he declined to specify what it might be.

In late June, when the most recent polls on the wall were conducted, a CBS poll indicated that 51% of Americans believe that a wall along the United States southern border is a good thing, even if that structure does not span coast-to-coast.

Research contact: @Brett_Samuels27