Thursday, 16 August, 2018

Pa's Toomey among group of 10 senators challenging Trump over tariffs

Alaska House of Representatives McConnell Cancels Most of Senate’s August Recess 
Marty Perkins | 10 June, 2018, 09:42

It's something Corker acknowledged to reporters when he noted that "doing anything up here is like pushing a major boulder uphill".

"The implications of these tariffs are significant - on our own producers and businesses because of retaliatory tariffs we're now seeing and on our relationships with our allies who could use the same claims of national security to impose tariffs on us", Heitkamp said.

Joining Corker in introducing the plan was Democratic Sen. John Cornyn, the second-ranking Republican in the chamber, told reporters.

Congress rarely finishes work by September 30, the end of the fiscal year, on the dozen individual appropriations bills needed to keep the federal government fully operating.

Wednesday on Fox News Channel's "The Ingraham Angle", Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) downplayed the prospects of the Senate taking up immigration legislation this year.

"Joe Manchin is a guy who likes to talk to everybody and listen to them and nearly inevitably, he does what's right for West Virginia", Schumer said. "This emerging trade war endangers the remarkable economic progress we've seen in the past year. Part of this job is persuasion", said Cornyn. "Even things that are on the hotline right now - that should be able to come out and have a straight floor vote - you can't get out".

Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., said it's too early to say whether the House would take up Corker's proposal.

But Republican leadership has shown little interest in picking a fight with Trump over tariffs.

The bill rolled out Wednesday requires the White "to submit to Congress any proposal to adjust imports in the interest of national security under Section 232 [of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962]".




That means it would undercut what has become a primary weapon in the administration's hardline ongoing trade negotiations with countries across the world - including close US allies in the EU, Canada and Mexico. Nelson, however, sees the move more cynically.

"It's totally out of fear of what Trump will do", said one Republican senator, speaking anonymously who warned a spat with Trump could hurt Republicans in the midterm elections.

In a statement on May 24, Corker said that President Trump "abusing the authorities granted to him in Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962" was part of "a unsafe course and should be abandoned immediately".

Now, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wants to bring that to an end - and the timing couldn't be more suspect.

While a handful of Democrat Senators reluctantly accepted the adjusted schedule, most Democrats accused the decision of being politically motivated to create an unfair playing field for the midterm elections.

Corker, a Tennessee Republican and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said he and the president had a lengthy, "heartfelt" conversation about the legislation.

The Senate is split between 31 members of the Democratic conference and 31 members in the Republican conference. They initially refused to back Trump, but since he won, they've wooed the president and been rewarded: His administration has already adopted dozens of their regulation-gutting, tax-rescinding ideas. "I think the American people need to understand the consequences for this administration if we were to lose the Senate".

"The president has made it quite clear he doesn't intend to sign another omnibus and in order to prevent that obviously we should do our work, which is to pass individual appropriations bills", McConnell said.

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