President Trump in the cab of a tractor-trailer at the White House in 2017. Photo: Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Big automakers fearful of tariffs against Mexico are expressing fresh angst about another White House plan: looming rules that would gut Obama-era mileage and emissions mandates.

Driving the news: Ford, GM, Toyota, VW and over a dozen others sent a letter yesterday urging President Trump to reopen talks with California, which is battling his efforts to freeze Obama's standards in 2020 rather than letting them grow stricter.

The big picture: The June 6 letter and separate fears about tariffs underscore the messy relationship between Trump and some major industries.

  • They welcome his deregulatory stance in the main, but are troubled at times by how its executed.
  • And the auto industry, like many others, doesn't like Trump's trade wars at all.

Why it matters: California, under the Clean Air Act, has authority to impose its own pollution rules that roughly a dozen other states follow, and the state is fighting Trump's efforts to remove that discretion.

  • The industry fears a legal mess and regulatory confusion if there are different rules in different regions.

The intrigue: Automakers are in an awkward spot that they helped to create. They attacked Obama's rules, calling them too stringent, and backed Trump's move to weaken them. But now Trump's rollback goes too far for their liking.

What they're saying: The letter urges the administration to back off its freeze and seek compromise with California.

  • "[A] broadly supported final rule would provide regulatory certainty and enhance our ability to invest and innovate by avoiding an extended period of litigation and instability, which could prove as untenable as the current program," states the letter first reported by The New York Times.
  • They're also urging California officials to work with Trump.

Go deeper: Trump unsettles the auto sector

Go deeper

Updated 22 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 31,175,205 — Total deaths: 962,076— Total recoveries: 21,294,229Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 6,829,956 — Total deaths: 199,690 — Total recoveries: 2,590,695 — Total tests: 95,121,596Map.
  3. Health: CDC says it mistakenly published guidance about COVID-19 spreading through air.
  4. Media: Conservative blogger who spread COVID-19 misinformation worked for Fauci's agency.
  5. Politics: House Democrats file legislation to fund government through Dec. 11.
  6. World: "The Wake-Up Call" warns the West about the consequences of mishandling a pandemic.

McConnell: Senate has "more than sufficient time" to process Supreme Court nomination

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in a floor speech Monday that the chamber has "more than sufficient time" to confirm a replacement for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg before the election, and accused Democrats of preparing "an even more appalling sequel" to the fight over Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation.

Why it matters: Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has said "nothing is off the table next year" if Republicans push ahead with the confirmation vote before November, vowing alongside Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) to use "every procedural tool available to us to ensure that we buy ourselves the time necessary."

House Democrats file legislation to fund government through Dec. 11

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

House Democrats on Monday released their proposal for short-term legislation to fund the government through December 11.

Why it matters: This is Congress' chief legislative focus before the election. They must pass a continuing resolution (CR) before midnight on Oct. 1 to avoid a government shutdown — something both Hill leaders and the White House have claimed is off the table.