A number of Republicans in the Senate are standing with President Donald Trump over his threat to apply tariffs to Mexico on Tuesday after several party members spoke out against it.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that “there is not much support in my conference for tariffs” and he is hoping that the tariffs are not implemented. Other Senators also decided to speak out against Trump’s threat.
Utah Republican Sen. Mitt Romney said he will not support applying a tariff to Mexico, saying he “would not be inclined to vote [for] a tariff against a friend,” Politico reported Tuesday.
Oklahoma Sen. James Lankford reportedly also criticized Trump’s threat, saying the White House “is trying to use tariffs to solve every problem but HIV and climate change.” (RELATED: GOP Divided On Trump’s Mexico Tariff Threat)
However, a number of Republicans are in favor of applying tariffs to Mexico, such as Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who said in a tweet Wednesday:
I don’t generally like tariffs either. But what alternative do my GOP colleagues have to get #Mexico to secure its southern border, use the Isthmus of Tehuantepec to screen northbound rail cars & vehicles & act on intel we proved on human traffickers?
Republican North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis also defended Trump’s move, saying “I think it’s more likely the tariffs go on,” and that it would be “foolish” for Republicans to try to block the presidents move, in an appearance Tuesday on Fox News.
“I don’t think they’ll do that. If they do, it’s foolish. There is nothing more important than borders,” he continued.
Another senator who has supported Trump’s proposal to apply tariffs to Mexico, is Alabama Republican Sen. Richard Shelby. He told reporters on Capitol Hill Monday he is “not a tariff man,” but that he thinks “if it leads to a better trade agreement, I can understand his strategy.” Shelby also said, “well, if it doesn’t work you are right where you are. Probably have nothing to lose.”
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy defended Trump, according to the president, who tweeted a quote attributed to McCarthy.
This all comes after the House passed a vote Tuesday that would grant protection of deportation to illegal immigrants and give millions a path to permanent citizenship status.