Cornyn dismisses chance that Congress will curtail Trump tariffs
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Sen. John CornynJohn CornynFive takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke debate showdown Live coverage: Cruz faces O'Rourke in Texas debate showdown Trump, Feinstein feud intensifies over appeals court nominees MORE (Texas), the No. 2 Senate Republican, downplayed the chances on Monday that Congress would pass legislation pushing back against President TrumpDonald John TrumpCorker: US must determine responsibility in Saudi journalist's death Five takeaways from testy Heller-Rosen debate in Nevada Dem senator calls for US action after 'preposterous' Saudi explanation 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.


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 LeeSenators pledge action on Saudi journalist’s disappearance Bernie Sanders: US should pull out of war in Yemen if Saudis killed journalist Senators warn Trump that Saudi relationship is on the line MORE (R-Utah) that would require Congress to sign off on the imposition of tariffs.

A spokeswoman for Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerCorker: US must determine responsibility in Saudi journalist's death Dem senator calls for US action after 'preposterous' Saudi explanation Schumer: Fight for Senate is 'neck and neck' 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.