Senate will not 'poke the bear' Trump by passing tariff measure: lawmaker

Lester Mason
June 14, 2018

Senator Bob Corker needed agreement of all senators to get a vote on whether to attach his plan to an annual defense bill. 'Gosh, we might poke the bear, ' is the language I've been hearing in the hallways If people don't like it, they can vote up or down.

"Gosh, almighty, I heard the senator from Texas, the senior senator from Texas saying the other day, well, gosh, we might upset the president". Corker introduced a bill that would require congressional approval for tariffs, but it has yet to receive congressional approval. McConnell termed it an "exercise in futility" becauseTrump would never sign such legislation.

Bob Corker ripped into his party Tuesday for sidestepping a vote on his amendment to roll back U.S. President Donald Trump's trade authority - by blocking it altogether. Corker did not hide his frustration. We might upset the president of the United States before the midterms, so, gosh, we can't vote on the Corker amendment because we're taking - rightly so - the responsibility we have to deal with tariffs and revenues. He said, "The President's efforts to make America more competitive and level the playing field have been constantly undercut by members of both parties".

Corker offered the amendment in response to Trump's recent decision to impose a 25 percent tariff on steel and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports, even from USA allies, arguing they are needed for national security. Invoking national security allows the administration to skirt certain processes otherwise involved in levying tariffs.

President Trump used the national security exception in levying 25 percent tariffs on steel and 10 percent on aluminum, causing Canada to angrily highlight how the two countries had fought shoulder-to-shoulder and the USA was now calling its northern neighbor a national security risk.

Eh. Here's the thing about Corker: He's retiring at the end of this year. Trump brought a group of Republican senators to the White House last week to argue against the need for the Corker legislation, and called other GOP senators individually, including from Singapore as he prepared for the North Korea summit. As the floor manager, Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.) objected.

Inhofe said he wants to see Corker's legislation advance in some other way, but that seems unlikely.

"I think it's ridiculous people can't vote on amendments".

Corker dismissed those objections as he went on a tear against his Republican colleagues. Corker said he asked for unanimous consent to place the current NDAA text on a House-passed revenue shell.

John Cornyn of Texas, the No. 2 Senate Republican, said last week that GOP leaders were concerned the legislation would publicly air differences with Trump over trade ahead of November's elections. "We can't do that because we'd be upsetting the president, the president of the United States'".

Corker, who leads the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, concluded by essentially conceding defeat.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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