Paul Ryan Finally Finds Something He Just Can’t Tolerate About Trump: Tariffs

Tom Williams/Congressional Quarterly/Newscom via ZUMA

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Kicking things up a notch this morning, President Trump decided to casually threaten Canada and Mexico that tariffs on steel and aluminum would stay in place unless they caved in on NAFTA negotiations

Apparently even Republicans are getting fed up with this idiocy:

Congressional Republicans are maneuvering to stop President Trump from levying harsh tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, arguing the move runs counter to the core of their economic agenda and could even cause political problems heading into the 2018 midterms.

“We are extremely worried about the consequences of a trade war and are urging the White House to not advance with this plan,” AshLee Strong, a spokeswoman for House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), said in a statement Monday….Members of the House Ways and Means Committee were also circulating a letter arguing against the tariffs, and high-ranking Senate Republicans have voiced their opposition….But it’s difficult to predict how far Republicans would go to stand up to Trump.

Ah yes, how far will Republicans go to stand up to Trump? Will they send him a stern letter? Or, being Congress and all, will they pass legislation removing Trump’s authority to unilaterally levy new tariffs? Congress mostly leaves tariffs up to presidents, but as the Washington Post delicately puts it, “Congressional leaders believe that approach has worked well — until now.”

Still, if you go to war with Trump, you have to expect you’re going to get a real war. Trump could easily blow up so badly that he’d decide to engage in a scorched-earth campaign against the traitors in the Republican Party, leading to a tidal wave of losses in the November midterms unprecedented in human history. I wouldn’t put it past him. So I guess there’s that for Paul Ryan to think about.

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You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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