Koch Brothers Hint Support For Trump's SCOTUS Pick While Blasting Border Tax And Immigration Ban

by Tyler Durden
Jan 30, 2017 11:45 PM

The Koch Brothers and their political advocacy group, Americans for Prosperity, held a meeting this weekend in Indian Wells, California for their army of $100,000+ donors that collectively support several conservative groups backed by the brothers. Among other topics, the Koch donor network, helmed by billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, discussed plans to rally support for Trump's SCOTUS pick. According to Axios, top Koch officials said they're waiting for the nominee's identity to be revealed, but they liked the initial list of names Trump released.

The comments came just as Trump has confirmed his intention to reveal his pick for the Supreme Court tomorrow at 8pm EST.

Donald J. Trump ✔ @realDonaldTrump
I have made my decision on who I will nominate for The United States Supreme Court. It will be announced live on Tuesday at 8:00 P.M. (W.H.)
5:43 AM - 30 Jan 2017
22,576 Retweets 106,560 likes

Meanwhile, as we've noted before, Trump's pick is expected to come amid vows from Democrats to block any nominee put forward by his administration. Appearing on Rachel Maddow last week, Schumer said the open SCOTUS seat was 'stolen' by Republicans and that "it's hard to imagine a nominee that Donald Trump would choose, that would get Republican support, that we could support."

Under current rules, Republicans will need at least eight Democrats to support Trump's nominee to overcome the 60-vote filibuster hurdle. That said, Ted Cruz, among other Republicans, has already started lobbying for the "nuclear option" that would lower the confirmation vote threshold to a simple majority and pave the way for Republicans to confirm any Justice put forward, without Democrat support. Per The Hill:

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (R) said Republicans should fight to get President Trump's coming Supreme Court nominee confirmed by any means necessary.

Trump has said he will be announcing his choice to fill the late Antonin Scalia's seat on the bench next week.

Republicans will need at least eight Democrats to support Trump's nominee to overcome the 60-vote filibuster hurdle. But Cruz suggested the GOP shouldn't rule out the so-called "nuclear option" to reduce the threshold to a majority. The move would be a gamble, setting a precedent that could weaken the GOP's position if Democrats come back into power.

“I think we should do whatever it takes to get him confirmed," the former presidential candidate said on Fox News' "Hannity" Tuesday night.

When pressed about whether Republicans would employ the nuclear option this week, McConnell simply said: "The nominee will be confirmed."

But while the billionaire brothers may be aligned with Trump on his conservative SCOTUS picks, they have made no qualms about publicly opposing the new administration's stance on the proposed "border tax" and immigration ban. Per Fortune:

AFP Chief Executive Officer Luke Hilgemann, in an interview, called the measure "a massive tax increase" on U.S. consumers, who would pay more for foreign goods. He urged Ryan to "go back to the drawing board."

AFP and its offshoot organizations have become a powerful force in U.S. politics, bolstering candidates and issues on federal and state levels.

Besides defying Republican leaders on the border tax, the Koch-led organization on Sunday challenged Trump on a policy he implemented on Friday to stop the movement of people from countries with large Muslim populations from traveling to the United States.

"The travel ban is the wrong approach and will likely be counterproductive," said an official of the Koch network

Finally, the brothers also vowed to increase their spending in the 2018 election cycle to $300-$400 million, up from $250 million in 2016...apparently they didn't waste enough money opposing Trump last year...but we're sure another $150 million should definitely guarantee success.