On Meet the Press, Flake said "tariffs are awful" for the economy and "tariffs married to uncertainty is probably even worse", referring to Trump's suggestion that he may allow certain exemptions and the possibility that the president may impose other tariffs.
Republicans do not like these tariffs. Flake said he would introduce legislation to "nullify these tariffs", a phrase that echoed a fraught period in American history. Lawmakers like Roberts fear retaliation from foreign nations on USA exports, and agriculture is primed to take a hit. That "nullification crisis" was brought to an end by President Andrew Jackson's declaration of the supremacy of federal law, cementing his place as a hero to American nationalists. At a cabinet meeting, Trump argued that these tariffs will protect American workers.
Flake abandoned his re-election bid previous year because, he said, he did not want to compromise his integrity to try to win over pro-Trump voters in Arizona's August 28 Republican primary.
The Republicans protesting the tariffs offered no evidence that the tariffs would have negative economic consequences such as raising consumer prices or eliminating jobs.
Some members of Congress are even considering - gasp! - reclaiming their constitutional authority over tariffs.
Trump's tariffs have not yet taken effect, and congressional Republicans are hoping to persuade the president to limit their scope or effect.
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Rushing in to try to stop Trump as he blindly readies his plan to impose stiff tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, angry Republican politicians, especially red state representatives, are getting an up-close look at what it's like dealing with an erratic, illogical president. Both said they are continuing to lobby the president to change course.
The Republican lawmakers are right, too, to wonder if it was wise for Congress to give the president so much power to set tariffs.
Since taking office, no issue has pitted Trump against his allies in Congress more than the tariff dispute has.
President Donald Trump announced new tariffs on steel and aluminum on Thursday.
Come to think of it, why did all these Republicans - who heard Trump's anti-immigrant and anti-free trade message over and over again in the campaign - not believe him?
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