by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Republican senators are at their breaking point with Donald Trump’s protectionist trade blitz.
Not a party meeting goes by these days where multiple Republicans don’t vent that the president isn’t listening to them — and plot how to fight back.
“I’d like to kill ’em,” groused Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), a close Trump ally, referring to the administration’s expanding list of tariffs.
The mounting frustration with the Republican president is a warning sign for the party amid what’s been a surprisingly favorable stretch. Trump appears, at least for now, to have weathered the internal GOP backlash against his family separation policy. He has a new Supreme Court vacancy to fill, and he ended last week celebrating the “economic miracle” he said his tax cuts created.
But Republican senators say they can’t get the president to comprehend that his tariffs offensive could upend all of that progress in short order. Commodity prices in the heartland are sagging, U.S. allies are retaliating with tariffs of their own — and GOP leaders are fretting that the booming economy is about to go into a pre-midterms nosedive.