A new item out at Politico highlights just how determined outgoing Tennessee Senator Bob Corker is to cause problems for President Trump in trade negotiations while he still continues to have the power to do it.
And Republican Senator from Pennsylvania Pat Toomey is helping him do it.
The frequent Trump critic is seizing on the Senate’s farm bill to try to curb the president’s tariffs.
GOP Sen. Bob Corker is making a new push to allow Congress to block President Donald Trump’s tariffs on U.S. allies, though GOP leaders may stop it in its tracks once again.
The Tennessee senator is offering an amendment written with Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) to the Senate’s farm bill this week that would allow Congress to approve or disapprove of tariffs levied against countries on national security justifications.
Naturally, President Trump opposes the effort, as does Senate Finance Chairman Orin Hatch, calling it “too broad.”
Trump opposes the amendment, and it could imperil the farm bill if the amendment is adopted. Party leaders are not sure whether it has 60 votes to succeed; Corker and Toomey argue the only way to find out is to hold a vote.
Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch said he was concerned the amendment is too broad in allowing Congress input. The Utah Republican said he hopes Corker narrows the language before offering it as an amendment.
“It complicates things [on the farm bill], but we’ll see. I prefer it not be so broad,” Hatch said.
However, along with others, Corker and Toomey have managed to gain some liberal backers.
Corker and Toomey, with a coalition of liberal, conservative and moderate senators, were rebuffed earlier this month when trying to attach their amendment to a defense bill. GOP leaders did not want to confront the president so directly, and Corker was told his amendment had procedural problems because the defense bill wasn’t a revenue bill.