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 JohnsonGrassley pressured to run as Democrats set sights on Iowa Sunday shows preview: Bipartisan infrastructure talks drag on; Democrats plow ahead with Jan. 6 probe Democrats question GOP shift on vaccines MORE (R-Wis.) says the votes aren’t there to block President TrumpDonald TrumpFormer New York state Senate candidate charged in riot Trump called acting attorney general almost daily to push election voter fraud claim: report GOP senator clashes with radio caller who wants identity of cop who shot Babbitt 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.

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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 PelosiTim Ryan slams McCarthy for mocking Capitol physician, mask mandate McCarthy knocks Pelosi, mask mandate: 'This House has broken the country's trust' Senate votes to take up infrastructure deal 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 McCarthyTim Ryan slams McCarthy for mocking Capitol physician, mask mandate McCarthy knocks Pelosi, mask mandate: 'This House has broken the country's trust' GOP, Democrats battle over masks in House, Senate 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.