Cornyn dismisses chance that Congress will curtail Trump tariffs
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Sen. John CornynJohn CornynGOP braces for impeachment brawl Overnight Health Care — Presented by Coalition Against Surprise Medical Billing — Judge blocks Trump 'public charge' rule | Appeals court skeptical of Trump arguments for Medicaid work requirements | CDC offers guidance for treating vaping-related cases GOP requests update on criminal referrals prompted by 2018 Kavanaugh probe MORE (Texas), the No. 2 Senate Republican, downplayed the chances on Monday that Congress would pass legislation pushing back against President TrumpDonald John TrumpBusiness school deans call for lifting country-specific visa caps Bolton told ex-Trump aide to call White House lawyers about Ukraine pressure campaign: report Federal prosecutors in New York examining Giuliani business dealings with Ukraine: report 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 ToomeyNSA improperly collected US phone records in October, new documents show Overnight 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 MORE (R-Pa.) announced he would support legislation from Sen. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeZuckerberg defends meetings with conservative politicians, pundits GOP requests update on criminal referrals prompted by 2018 Kavanaugh probe McConnell warns Trump against withdrawing troops from Syria MORE (R-Utah) that would require Congress to sign off on the imposition of tariffs.

A spokeswoman for Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerGeorge Conway hits Republicans for not saying Trump's name while criticizing policy Trump announces, endorses ambassador to Japan's Tennessee Senate bid Meet the key Senate player in GOP fight over Saudi Arabia 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.