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

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

Sen. Bob Corker lashed out again Wednesday at his fellow Republicans, saying the GOP has become nearly like a cult in its support of President Donald Trump.

"No, I think they made some representations about their intentions but this is the beginning of a long process", Cornyn said.

Corker, who is retiring at the end of his term, has been working for the past week to get a vote on his amendment that would give Congress the power to reign in the president's ability to impost tariffs on national security grounds, such as those on Canadian steel and aluminum which were announced this month. Corker said he believes his colleagues would've voted differently if they were not fearful of opposing Trump. I haven't heard a person that hasn't had some degree of concern.

Authors of the legislation, which also include Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, said Trump abused the authority granted under a 1962 law by imposing tariffs on aluminum and steel imports because there isn't a genuine national security threat.

The idea that Corker's amendment could upset the president is fairly obvious, given that trade is one of the areas Trump has been consistent on for years.

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"'We might poke the bear, ' Is the language I've been hearing in the hallways. The president might get upset with us as senators if we vote on the Corker amendment, so we're going to do everything we can to block it'".

"To have an administration that wakes up every day on an ad hoc basis just making stuff up as they go along with no coherency to it - I think us having to weigh in on that would actually cause them to have to think about what they're doing versus, 'Well, I'm upset with X today so I'll do this, '" Corker said.

"The president has a tendency from time to time to do something ad hoc that hasn't been vetted with people around him and then sometimes they'll walk those things back", he said. "And so let's don't do anything that might upset the President".

"Damage is being done to our country", said Corker Friday. "We are the ones that, per the Constitution, have been charge with the ability - actually the responsibility to deal with tariffs; to deal with revenues". "The president might get upset with us as United States senators if we vote on the Corker amendment, '" Corker said during a heated speech where he was yelling from the Senate floor.

Corker last week was told that his amendment may have a so-called "blue slip" issue should it reach the House of Representatives, a technical issue that requires revenue-related legislation to originate in the House.

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