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

Sen. Corker Blows Up at His Fellow Republicans for Their Fear of Angering Trump: 'We Might Poke the Bear!'

Sen. Corker Blows Up at His Fellow Republicans for Their Fear of Angering Trump: 'We Might Poke the Bear!'

President Trump used the national security exception in levying 25 percent tariffs on steel and 10 percent on aluminum, causing Canada to angrily highlight how the two countries had fought shoulder-to-shoulder and the US was now calling its northern neighbor a national security risk. 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.

"But no, the United States Senate right now, on June the 12th, is becoming a body where, well, we'll do what we can do but, my gosh, if the president gets upset with us then we might not be in the majority. I can't believe it", Corker thundered from the floor.

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. His bill, which is backed by roughly a dozen senators, would require congressional approval if Trump wanted to impose tariffs in the name of national security.

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.

Corker has been angling to get his legislation added as an amendment to the defense appropriation bill, a must-pass measure that the Senate is now debating.

"A lot of people who want to put things that are non-germane and very often controversial", he said.

But Corker said it had "no effect" on the Senate's ability to pass the National Defense Authorization Act for 2019. Mitch McConnell being Majority Leader with a Republican president, there has been only one amendment vote. "'The president might get upset with us as United States senators if we vote on the Corker Amendment, so we're going to do whatever we can to block it!'" But oh no no, gosh, "we might poke the bear" is the language I've been hearing in the hallways.

But Senator James Inhofe, the Republican who is managing debate on the defense bill, blocked the amendment as inappropriate for the legislation, preventing a vote. Lindsey Graham of SC said it was unlikely there would be amendment votes and placed the blame squarely on Sen.

Paul's amendment is related to the legality of indefinite detention. "We're not going to give it up".