GOP senators push for bill to rein in Trump on tariffs

  • GOP senators push for bill to rein in Trump on tariffs

GOP senators push for bill to rein in Trump on tariffs

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) canceled August recess due to "the historic obstruction by Senate Democrats".

Republicans are working with the narrowest of majorities as Sen. 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 US adversaries.

Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., said that he has not yet decided whether he'd support Corker's proposal.

"He's obviously not pleased with this effort", Corker told reporters in Washington. The White House says the meeting focused on reducing the USA trade deficit by having China buy more agricultural and energy products.

McConnell also urged Americans to take comfort in the record number of circuit court judges the Senate has managed to confirm under the Trump administration, despite Democrats' slow-walking.

Senate Democrats and Republicans are facing off for the best way to use their three extra weeks in the "swamp".

Hurd said moderates have the votes already, but are "engaged in conversations to figure there another path".

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.

It's not just Trump, the senators say, but past administrations that have leaned too heavily into the national security provision they now want to subject to congressional oversight.

Corker said that he listened, but declined to drop the push.

Republicans, who control both chambers of Congress, are likely anxious that a full five-week break would leave insufficient time to hammer out spending, increasing the possibility of a crippling government shutdown at the height of campaign season.

"We Democrats welcome this additional time" to focus on health care, an issue that is increasingly at the forefront for American families, said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Corker acknowledged the difficulty in passing legislation despite "tremendous concern" among lawmakers in both parties.

Asked if the president has the power to pardon himself, as Trump asserted in a Monday tweet, McConnell said he had no comment.

Sen. David Perdue, a Georgia Republican, told Politico he supported the move. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota. Pat Toomey, R-Pa.

After a roller-coaster 2017 for the Republican-controlled Senate, which failed to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act but later passed a sweeping tax bill that became law, GOP leaders have set a more modest agenda for the months leading up to the midterm elections. And senators won't have to answer questions about why - even with a lower unemployment rate - wages remain stagnant, or why Congress would rather see children murdered in their school desks than enact simple, practical gun reform. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., a member of GOP leadership, answered simply: "No".

McConnell said he chose to shorten the usual summer getaway "due to the historic obstruction by Senate Democrats of the president's nominees".

Other senators quickly weighed in on losing their recess, with some praising McConnell for the decision.