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Photo: Scott Olson/Chris Maddaloni/Win McNamee/Getty Images

Republican lawmakers are voicing their concerns and grievances following President Trump's Thursday announcement of new tariffs against Mexican goods.

Why it matters: While Republicans still argue that border security and immigration are top policy issues, some are worried Trump's sanctions could jeopardize plans to pass the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

What they're saying:

  • Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) released a statement saying: "This is a misuse of presidential tariff authority and counter to congressional intent. Following through on this threat would seriously jeopardize passage of USMCA, a central campaign pledge of President Trump’s and what could be a big victory for the country. President Trump should consider alternatives, such as imposing a fee on the billions of dollars of remittances that annually leave the United States to Mexico, which only encourage illegal immigration and don’t help the U.S. economy."
  • Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) said: "A tariff targeting Mexico that negatively impacts our own interests will only end in a waiting game of increasingly harmful consequence to the American people."
  • Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) released a statement: "If the president goes through with this, I’m afraid progress to get this trade agreement across the finish line will be stifled. While I support the need for comprehensive border security and a permanent fix to illegal immigration, this isn’t the right path forward. I’m asking the president to reconsider, and for Democrats to work with us to find a solution to the humanitarian crisis at our southern border.”
  • Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Penn.) in a statement said: "The president is right to point out the crisis at our southern border. However, a blanket tax increase on everything Americans purchase from Mexico is the wrong remedy. Tariffs are a dangerous and risky economic tool. They raise the cost of products for American families, reduce market share abroad for U.S. exporters, and make our economy less competitive globally. History has shown us time and again that nobody wins a trade war: Trade is mutually beneficial, and trade restrictions, like tariffs, are mutually harmful."
  • Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) tweeted: "I support @POTUS’ proposals to fund border security & change certain laws that encourage people to come from Central America. Let’s focus on solving the crisis at the border but not hurt our economy and endanger an important @POTUS goal -- a better trade deal w/ #Canada & #Mexico."
  • Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.): "I think it was a mistake. I am not saying we don't have a crisis at the border, we clearly do. I'm not saying it won't work. The president, López Obrador, has already indicated that he's ready to talk, but I am worried about the long-term ramifications," he said on CBS' "Face the Nation."

Go deeper: Trump announces new tariffs against Mexico

Go deeper

House passes $1.9 trillion COVID relief package

Photo: Screenshot via C-SPAN

The House approved President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID relief package on a 219-212 vote early Saturday morning, sending it to the Senate for a possible rewrite before it gets to Biden's desk.

The big picture: The vote was a critical first step for the package, which includes $1,400 cash payments for many Americans, a national vaccination program, ramped-up COVID testing and contact tracing, state and local funding and money to help schools reopen.

10 hours ago - Health

Biden says it's "not the time to relax" after touring vaccination site

President Biden speaking after visiting a FEMA Covid-19 vaccination facility in Houston on Feb. 26. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said Friday that "it's not the time to relax" coronavirus mitigation efforts and warned that the number of cases and hospitalizations could rise again as new variants of the virus emerge.

Why it matters: Biden, who made the remarks after touring a vaccination site in Houston, echoed CDC director Rochelle Walensky, who said earlier on Friday that while the U.S. has seen a recent drop in cases and hospitalizations, "these declines follow the highest peak we have experienced in the pandemic."

Updated 11 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: Most COVID-19 survivors can weather risk of reinfection, study says — "Twindemic" averted as flu reports plummet amid coronavirus crisis
  2. Vaccine: FDA advisory panel endorses J&J COVID vaccine for emergency use — About 20% of U.S. adults have received first vaccine dose, White House says — New data reignites the debate over coronavirus vaccine strategy.
  3. Economy: What's really going on with the labor market.
  4. Local: All adult Minnesotans will likely be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine by summer — Another wealthy Florida community receives special access to COVID-19 vaccine.
  5. Sports: Poll weighs impact of athlete vaccination.