A House Divided: Republicans Are At Odds With One Another Over Trump's Tariffs On Mexico

Posted: Jun 04, 2019 5:05 PM
A House Divided: Republicans Are At Odds With One Another Over Trump's Tariffs On Mexico

Source: AP Photo/Evan Vucci

President Donald Trump announced his plans to place tariffs on Mexican goods if Mexico fails to help address the immigration crisis along the southern border. 

The tariffs would start at five percent on June 10th, raise to 10 percent on July 1, raise to 15 percent on August 1, raise to 20 percent on September 1 and raise to 25 percent on October 1. They'd remain permanently at 25 percent until Mexico substantially stops the flow of illegal immigrants to America's southern border. 

Republicans, however, are having an issue with the tariffs. Multiple Republican Senators have said the tariffs are effectively a tax increase, something that's not good for the economy. 

"There is not much support in my conference for tariffs, that's for sure," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said during a press conference following a lunch meeting with White House representatives. 

“He’s as serious as four heart attacks and a stroke,” Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) said. “A 5 percent tariff isn’t going to break the bank. A 25 percent tariff is a different story, but we are a long way from there.”

“The White House should be concerned about what that vote would result in, because Republicans really don’t like taxing American consumers and businesses,” Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) said. 

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said he wanted the representatives to "take a message back" to the White House and make Trump aware that they "didn't hear a single yes" from the Republican conference. 

Based on those who were in the meeting, Cruz said the tariffs would be a $30 billion tax hike on Texans. 

According to Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), "We’re holding a gun to our own heads.”

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) siad it'd be difficult to consider the USMCA trade agreement with tariffs in place. 

Sens. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) and Thom Tillis (R-NC) said they support Trump's move to implement tariffs. 

“I think Mexico could help us solve the crisis down at the border,” Tillis said. “What’s the tax on handling 80,000 additional illegal immigrants coming across the border, housing them, adjudicating them? You’ve got to look at the total cost of the prices.”

McConnell remains hopeful that the Mexican delegation that traveled to Washington, D.C. to talk about how Mexico can help with the immigration crisis will be able to come to a resolution with the Trump team.