A major ally of President Donald Trump, Senator Orrin Hatch, the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, is pulling out all the stops in regards to his personal friendship with the president.
According to an exclusive by the Wall Street Journal, Hatch sent Trump a warning letter saying that Republicans in the Senate were ready to pass legislation to curtail his Presidential trade authority if he refused to back down from his current positions.
Keep in mind – Hatch and Trump are very close politically, too. And, for Hatch to send this kind of letter to Trump must have been particularly alarming.
In the past, Trump bragged that Hatch told him he was “the greatest president in the history of our country,” which includes “Lincoln and Washington.” Trump misquoted him, but the point remains, the two say good things about each other, generally.
— World News Tonight (@ABCWorldNews) February 1, 2018
That’s not what is going on right now.
Here’s what Senator Hatch is saying about Trump’s trade policies today:
I’d like to kill ’em.”
Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), the Agriculture Committee chairman, thinks Trump’s tariffs are a disaster for the United States. He says what is going on is, other countries, including allies of the United States in the European Union and elsewhere are retaliating and causing the costs of goods to go up exponentially.
Individual senators have met with the president, including me. The Ag committee met with him, the Finance Committee met with him. And there’s nobody for this. Trump is a protectionist who has his policy wrapped around the rear axle of a pickup. And it’s hard to get out.”
Senator Ron Johnson thinks the tariffs are so bad that it’s going to hurt Republicans in the midterm elections because American businesses are losing out, big time. He, too, sent a separate letter to Trump urging the president to “return certainty and stability to global markets.”
“The generalized steel tariffs are increasing their costs, making them uncompetitive globally as well as domestically,” Johnson said on “Power Lunch.”
“Farmers are losing access to markets they’ve been developing for decades. They’re losing orders.”
Senator Orrin Hatch repeated his threat on the floor of the Senate, saying he would indeed work tirelessly to curb Trump’s trade authority unless he changed course.
If the administration continues forward with its misguided and reckless reliance on tariffs, I will work to advance trade legislation to curtail presidential trade authority. I am discussing legislative options with colleagues both on and off the Finance Committee, and I will continue to do so.”
Senator Bob Corker took to the floor, too, and said flat-out: This is an abuse of presidential authority. He said it again to re-iterate how important this was for the economy: “It’s a mistake.”