GOP senators push for bill to rein in Trump on tariffs


Trump's approach is a major break from the GOP's traditional support for free trade, but lawmakers' pleas to the president to take a different course have had limited impact.

"Doing anything around here is like pushing a major boulder up hill", Corker said. Trump cited national security, also known as section 232, for his reason for imposing the tax on goods. But Democrats are planning a political counter-punch. Corker acknowledged that some Republicans are unwilling to cross the president.

This year, GOP lawmakers plan to bundle the spending bills into smaller packages.

The Senate will now recess for one week in August instead of four, said McConnell, R-Ky.

Aides and lawmakers said the March effort had to some degree succeeded, with the White House crafting exemptions for several close allies - until the administration announced those exemptions for the EU, Mexico and Canada lapsed this week. But the Senate version carries a warning to Trump, with a trade provision to block any White House plan to lift penalties on the China-based telecommunications company ZTE, which faces trade law violations over selling sensitive technologies to U.S. adversaries.

"The US business and agriculture community is profoundly concerned about how newly imposed tariffs - and the inevitable foreign retaliation arriving in the next few weeks - will lead to lost American jobs", Bradley said in a statement.

"I think it reflects his way to read the tea leaves".

"It's a difference of opinion", Corker told The Post.

Trump has imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from top USA trading partners, including Canada, Mexico and the European Union.

Corker's bill would require congressional approval for any tariffs that are imposed for national security purposes.

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Senate Republicans anxious about a possible trade war with USA allies Canada, Mexico and the European Union are pushing a plan to give Congress the final say over some trade actions. "NDAA's going to be opened, we'll see what amendments are offered".

"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.

Conservative lawmakers and groups have been pressing McConnell to keep lawmakers in session to address almost 150 federal judicial vacancies - a number Democrats attribute to GOP delaying tactics during President Barack Obama's last years in office. Senate rules require at least a handful of Democratic votes to advance most legislation, given the Republicans' slim 51-49 member hold on the chamber.

"The best way to summarize this bill is that it takes the next steps", Armed Services Chairman Mac Thornberry, R-Tx., said on the House floor last month.

Toomey, who was re-elected in 2016 and thus insulated from immediate voter blowback, engaged with the Trump administration on tariffs as early as March 8, calling them a mistake.

"If the Democrats can't win both in NY and, say, the Great Plains, we'll never be the majority", he said. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota.

"If the Senate is in session", Casey said Monday, "then I hope the Majority Leader would schedule votes on substantial issues, like infrastructure funding, measures to fight the opioid crisis and legislation to bring down the cost of health care, which keeps going up because of Republican sabotage".

"I think we have enough work to do for the American people that we should be here during these weeks", Mr. McConnell said, blaming Democrats as obstructionist.

Asked if GOP leaders are on board, Corker said, "We'll see".