Trump Wins Fight Over Tariff Power in Senate

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Bob Corker erupted on the Senate floor Tuesday afternoon - oftentimes raising his voice and wildly flailing his hands - his animated anger implicitly aimed at his GOP colleagues, whom he accused of being afraid of President Donald Trump. "The president might get upset with us as United States senators if we vote on the Corker amendment, so we're going to do everything we can to block it". "We can't do that because we'd be upsetting the president, '" Corker said, referring to Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn. We might upset the president of the United States before the midterms, so, gosh, we can't vote on the Corker amendment because we're taking - rightly so - the responsibility we have to deal with tariffs and revenues. We can't do that because we'd be upsetting the president, the president of the United States.

"I can't believe it!"

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.

Corker was infuriated over objection to his tariff legislation, which would seek to limit Trump's authority to issue national security tariffs.

Corker offered the amendment in response to Trump's recent decision to impose a 25 percent tariff on steel and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports, even from USA allies, arguing they are needed for national security.

Senator 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.

But Corker said it had "no effect" on the Senate's ability to pass the National Defense Authorization Act for 2019. "Absolutely because it's all about the next election, right?" said Corker, who is retiring after 2018. Mitch McConnell being Majority Leader with a Republican president, there has been only one amendment vote. A lot of them would vote for it if it came to vote, but no. 'Gosh, we might poke the bear, ' is the language I've been hearing in the hallways... "And all my amendment would do is say, 'Look, Mr. President, you go negotiate, but when you finish, come back, and as senators and as House members, let us vote up or down'".

Paul's amendment is related to the legality of indefinite detention.

For his part, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky.

"The Judiciary Committee has jurisdiction over the subject matter", he said.