Republican Senators Grow Half A Nut On Tariffs ... MAYBE
Never bet on the courage of the Republican caucus. Ben Sasse will make sure we all know that he is deeply conflicted, as a moral man, a Christian, and a father. Susan Collins will furrow her brow and express her serious concerns. John Kennedy will gibber some folksy palaver about his patience being thinner than a bee's behind on the Fourth of July and wonder where all the common sense went. Then Lindsey Graham will have a tantrum, and they'll all fall in line and follow Trump's latest idiotic directive. Third verse, same as the first.
And yet! Republican senators just killed Fed nominations for Herman Cain and Stephen Moore, and they're warming up their wingtips to kick US Customs and Immigration nominee Ken "No Buttsechs" Cuccinelli squarely in the dick for being such a traitorous little snake. As John Cornyn told Politico, "He's spent a fair amount of his career attacking Republicans in the Senate, so it strikes me as an odd position for him to put himself in to seek Senate confirmation." And they're passing a resolution condemning arms sales to Saudi Arabia -- a meaningless resolution, but still, a sign that there is restlessness among the ranks.
We assume that Senate Republicans are full of shit when they threaten to block Trump's idiotic new tariffs on Mexico. But there's always a chance that they might actually grow a pair and finally put a stop to something that will clearly harm both the economy -- and their electoral prospects -- in November 2020.
Yesterday, White House Deputy Counsel Pat Philbin and Assistant Attorney General Steve Engel had lunch with Senate Gippers to sell Trump's "plan" to solve immigration by forcing Americans to pay more for Mexican imports. All closed door congressional meetings leak, but half a dozen Republicans immediately walked out to talk smack on the record, so it must have been brutal. As Oklahoma Senator James Lankford put it, Trump's "trying to use tariffs to solve every problem but HIV and climate change."
(Did Senator Frack just acknowledge that climate change is real? HUH.)
They're even threatening to hold a second vote of disapproval on his national emergency declaration, although Politico notes it's highly unlikely they have the votes to override a presidential veto. The Senate came up short last March in their bid to reject Trump's "emergency" plan to smash and grab funds from the Defense Department piggy bank to pay for WALL. But Ron Johnson told reporters, "This would be a different vote. […] This would certainly give me great pause." That there's a profile in courage, must make the people of Wisconsin proud!
North Dakota's Kevin Cramer worries that Trump can't math good, so maybe he should sit down with Mitch McConnell and work out exactly how likely it is that the Senate would shitcan Trump's "emergency" declaration by a veto-proof margin: "That would be a really good, important discussion for him to have with Republican members of Congress before going that route." It would! Particularly since, if the Senate votes to end the "emergency," Trump can't keep stealing wallbux from the DOD.
Or maybe Trump will just declare a SECOND state of emergency. Who even knows! Not the lawyers dispatched to sell this fakakta plan to the Senate, that's for sure.
Attendees said the Trump administration officials laid out two options: The president could use the existing national emergency declaration on the border wall to impose the new tariffs or he could declare a second emergency to unlock new tariff authority. But the officials did not definitively say what Trump will do and how he will do it, frustrating Republicans given that Trump has said he would make the decision in less than a week.
If Trump tries to move under the first national emergency declaration, he could face a vote in September that blocks both his unilateral move for wall funds and new tariffs. If he declares a new one, he could set up rolling votes to block each emergency every six month if he leaves them in place.
LOL, these tariffs are supposed to go into effect Monday!
But don't worry, because once Trump gets back from wowing 'em at Buckingham Palace, the GOP will get a little facetime with the Very Stable Genius and 'splain him how tariffs are, like, not really the GOP's bag, baby. And, also, maybe not the best way to deal with the border issue?
Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn knows this is all just a big misunderstanding: "What we need to do is get in front of the president and have that conversation." And Senator John Kennedy is confident that the president, and he is talking about Donald Trump here, is a reasonable man who never freaks out and does self-destructive, insane shit without thinking it through. "What I'm hoping we can do is when the president gets back from the U.K. we can all sit down and try to figure out how to move forward together."
Yeah, okay fellas. You bet!
For his part Donald Trump referred to "tremendous Republican support" for his idiotic tariff plan -- citation needed, obvs -- and pooh-poohed the idea that the GOP would dare to take on Tariff Man. "I don't think they will do that," Trump said. "If they do, it's foolish." Then he went back to shitposting about Bette Midler and talking about the adoring crowds who came out to greet him London.
Because, REALITY ... does it even matter any more?
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.