Cornyn dismisses chance that Congress will curtail Trump tariffs
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Sen. John CornynJohn CornynSen. Warner to introduce amendment limiting Trump’s ability to revoke security clearances Sentencing reform deal heats up, pitting Trump against reliable allies Rand Paul to ask Trump to lift sanctions on Russian leaders MORE (Texas), the No. 2 Senate Republican, downplayed the chances on Monday that Congress would pass legislation pushing back against President TrumpDonald John TrumpWhite House counsel called Trump 'King Kong' behind his back: report Trump stays out of Arizona's ugly and costly GOP fight Trump claims he instructed White House counsel to cooperate with Mueller MORE’s tariffs, despite growing frustration among Republicans. 

“I think that's primarily an executive branch function, and I don’t really see Congress passing and getting a presidential signature on something constraining his authority,” Cornyn told reporters in response to questions about Trump’s decision to remove exemptions on steep tariffs for steel and aluminum imports from the European Union, Canada and Mexico.

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Cornyn said that lawmakers would continue trying to influence the administration's decisionmaking process in conversations with Trump and White House officials.

“We have been talking for a long time and that's been helpful in terms of providing guidance,” he said. 

The imposition of the tariffs has sparked a backlash from U.S. trading partners and disquieted Republican lawmakers who are taking a new look at legislation in the wake of the decision. 

Sen. Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyOvernight Defense: Pick for South Korean envoy splits with Trump on nuclear threat | McCain blasts move to suspend Korean military exercises | White House defends Trump salute of North Korean general WH backpedals on Trump's 'due process' remark on guns Top GOP candidate drops out of Ohio Senate race MORE (R-Pa.) announced he would support legislation from Sen. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeSentencing reform deal heats up, pitting Trump against reliable allies Senate gets to work in August — but many don’t show up GOP leader criticizes Republican senators for not showing up to work MORE (R-Utah) that would require Congress to sign off on the imposition of tariffs.

A spokeswoman for Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerSen. Warner to introduce amendment limiting Trump’s ability to revoke security clearances White House weighs clawing back State, foreign aid funding Rand Paul to ask Trump to lift sanctions on Russian leaders MORE (R-Tenn.) said separately on Monday that he and other senators are working “to develop legislation that would address the administration’s recent actions to intervene in markets by abusing the president’s national security authorities.”

But legislation curbing Trump's trade authority likely faces an uphill battle in Congress. Any bill would likely need to win over enough support to override a veto, meaning the backing of two-thirds of both chambers.