GOP lawmaker predicts Congress won't block Trump's Mexico tariffs

GOP lawmaker predicts Congress won't block Trump's Mexico tariffs
© Stefani Reynolds

Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Ginsburg lies in repose CHC leaders urge Senate to oppose Chad Wolf nomination  Top GOP senators say Hunter Biden's work 'cast a shadow' over Obama Ukraine policy MORE (R-Wis.) says the votes aren’t there to block President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden on Trump's refusal to commit to peaceful transfer of power: 'What country are we in?' Romney: 'Unthinkable and unacceptable' to not commit to peaceful transition of power Two Louisville police officers shot amid Breonna Taylor grand jury protests MORE’s threat to impose a new round of tariffs on Mexico, despite broad concerns among GOP lawmakers.

Johnson, an outspoken critic of Trump’s trade policies, says there won’t be enough votes to override the president’s expected veto of a disapproval resolution to block additional tariffs against Mexico.


He said he informed Mexican Ambassador Martha Bárcena Coqui of the political reality on Capitol Hill in a phone call Wednesday morning.

“I talked to the Mexican ambassador. I wanted to make sure that she realized that if the president decides to invoke tariffs, I don’t think there’s a possibility for a veto override,” Johnson told reporters after the call.

A delegation from Mexico is in Washington on Wednesday for a meeting with Vice President Pence.

The two sides are seeking to strike a deal that would prevent the tariffs from going into effect on Monday.

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro told CNN on Wednesday morning that the tariffs "may not have to go into effect."

Pence said he wanted to speak to the Mexican ambassador about his views because he did not want the country to think that Trump’s tariffs, if they are imposed, could be overturned by Congress.

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiHoyer: House should vote on COVID-19 aid — with or without a bipartisan deal Ruth Bader Ginsburg lies in repose at Supreme Court McCarthy threatens motion to oust Pelosi if she moves forward with impeachment MORE (D-Calif.) earlier on Wednesday said she did not believe the House would have the votes to override the president on a veto of a disapproval resolution. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyMcCarthy threatens motion to oust Pelosi if she moves forward with impeachment Kate Schroder in Ohio among Democratic challengers squelching GOP hopes for the House McCarthy's Democratic challenger to launch first TV ad highlighting Air Force service as single mother MORE (R-Calif.) on Wednesday said Republicans should back Trump on the tariffs.

It’s not clear opponents could muster the 67 votes in the Senate to override Trump either, though it might be a closer call in the upper chamber. Some GOP senators on Tuesday were predicting a veto could be overridden in the Senate.

Johnson said the Mexican administration should explore options to reduce the flow of migrants into the United States across the Southern border.

“I don’t think the votes are there to override a veto, personally,” he said. “That’s what I communicated to the Mexican ambassador.”

“I want to make sure that leverage is maintained,” Johnson said of the pressure Trump is trying to put on Mexico to crack down on illegal immigration by threatening new tariffs.