The Senate isn’t backing down on introducing legislation that would decrease Trump’s authority on tariff, reports The Hill. Sen. Bob Corker has received major backlash from the White House on his legislation plan, including a phone call from Trump on Wednesday. However, he refuses to stop fighting for the bill that would ultimately stop the current foreign feud over recent tariffs from happening again.
When Corker announced the bill in the Senate, he stated, “If the president truly believes invoking Section 232 is necessary to protect the United States from a genuine threat, he should make the case to Congress and to the American people and do the hard work necessary to secure congressional approval.” If Corker’s bill passes, it would require the president to submit the tariffs he creates under Section 232 to Congress. The tariffs would have to be approved by both the House and the Senate before they could be implemented.
The White House is pushing back as hard as possible, even attempting to stop the bill before it was introduced. Earlier on Wednesday, Trump privately called Corker and urged him not to move forward with the bill. However, Corker didn’t back down and refused Trump’s requests. He later told the press, “I talked at length with the president about it today. He’s obviously not pleased with this effort.” But Corker, a Republican from Tennessee, didn’t seem fazed and may have the determination to really make this bill happen, limiting Trump’s abilities to create havoc with foreign allies.
The bill has support in the Senate so far, including with Democrats such as Heidi Heitkamp and even Republicans such as Ron Johnson. Why are Republicans supporting a bill against their Republican president? Midterms are looming and they know if the economy is affected by Trump’s irrational tariff stunt, they may not get re-elected. A group of GOP Senators, organized by Sen. Lindsey Graham, met with Trump today to discuss trade. Sen. John Cornyn stated, “I think Senator Graham, who is the leader of that meeting, just wants to talk to the president about his end game.”
Despite the Senators’ efforts, passage of the bill is going to be an uphill battle that may never happen. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan pointed out the fact that Trump would ultimately have to sign the bill, and why would he do that?
“You would have to pass a law that he would want to sign into law. You can do the math on that,” he said.
This reality doesn’t seem to discourage the senators, who are aggressively moving forward with the bill.