GOP senator reviving effort to rein in Trump on tariffs
© Anna Moneymaker

GOP Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerSasse’s jabs at Trump spark talk of primary challenger RNC votes to give Trump 'undivided support' ahead of 2020 Sen. Risch has unique chance to guide Trump on foreign policy MORE (Tenn.) is reviving his effort to rein in President TrumpDonald John TrumpRosenstein expected to leave DOJ next month: reports Allies wary of Shanahan's assurances with looming presence of Trump States file lawsuit seeking to block Trump's national emergency declaration MORE on trade, setting up another fight between congressional Republicans and the White House. 

Corker told reporters on Wednesday that he wants to attach his legislation curbing Trump's tariffs authority to a federal aviation bill that needs to clear the Senate. 

"That's the ideal place for us to be," Corker said while discussing attaching his bill to the reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).  


The aviation bill hasn't formally been scheduled for floor consideration, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDemocrats brush off GOP 'trolling' over Green New Deal Trump should beware the 'clawback' Congress Juan Williams: America needs radical solutions MORE's (R-Ky.) office has said that it's on the Senate's to-do list. The current authorization for the agency expires Sept. 30.  

Corker noted that he has told GOP leadership he plans to try to link to his tariff bill to the FAA legislation, a move leadership has told him they don't support. The senator said leadership may not bring the bill to the floor if he tries to loop in the tariff fight. 

Corker's proposal would require the president to get congressional approval for tariffs implemented under the guise of national security. Trump, in an unusual move, used Section 232 of the trade law to slap steep tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, including from longstanding trade allies like Canada and Mexico.  

“I understand the longer these tariffs are in place the more difficult it is to unwind that. I'm understanding the dynamic continues to evolve against our position," Corker told reporters. 

Trump's tariff moves have sparked backlash from some of his staunchest GOP allies on Capitol Hill, as well as from business groups that typically align with Republicans. 

But Corker and his allies within the GOP caucus, including Sens. 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 (Pa.) and Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeTrump suggests Heller lost reelection bid because he was 'hostile' during 2016 presidential campaign Live coverage: Trump delivers State of the Union Sasse’s jabs at Trump spark talk of primary challenger MORE (Ariz.), have struggled to move their legislation reining in Trump through the Senate.   

Republicans, though they have warned the administration against starting a trade war, have been reluctant to confront the president over tariffs.

Instead of trying to pass legislation, which, they note, Trump wouldn't sign, they've publicly and privately urged the White House to change course on its trade policy.  

Corker tried to attach the proposal to both a national defense bill and the farm bill and was blocked on both occasions. 

The Senate took a symbolic shot at Trump's tariff authority last month. In a non-binding vote, they backed giving Congress a role on Section 232 tariffs.