GOP leader McConnell cancels Senate's August recess

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Ron Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican who has voted with Trump almost 92% of the time, said Congress should assert "its constitutional authorities on tariffs to ensure we don't undermine the significant economic progress we have made over the last 18 months". Chuck Schumer said Wednesday. The administration has said it's imposing the tariffs in the interests of 'national security'.

Nonetheless Corker's amendment represents the most significant attempt thus far by Republican lawmakers to arrest Trump's protectionist trade agenda.

Responding to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) abrupt decision on Tuesday to cancel most of the Senate's August recess, Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., saying he preferred to focus on "getting bills passed".

But the second-ranking Republican, Sen. John Boozman, a Republican from Rogers.

"Not everything we do has to be legislative".

Asked if those powers of persuasion were effective, Cornyn cracked a grin. But that campaign slogan is at odds with Republicans' longstanding preference for free markets and open trade.

There are other challenges to convincing Republicans to sign on. As we've often argued, it's well past time for Congress to get back to regular order and pass actual agency appropriations bills on time - no more shutdown showdowns, no more last-minute continuing resolutions, no more omnibuses, cromnibuses, minibuses, or megabuses, please! "If we believe our own rhetoric - on trade, tariffs and congressional prerogative - I hope it does come to a vote".

"If the Democrats can't win both in NY and, say, the Great Plains, we'll never be the majority", he said.

"It's a difference of opinion", Corker told The Post. The president says on Twitter that by the time he finishes his trade negotiations, "that will change" and big trade barriers "will finally be broken".

They also say President Trump's push to let customers hold "short-term plans" for a full year, and let trades band together into "association plans", are spooking insurers who think much-needed customers will flee the Obamacare markets. And this in no way takes away his negotiating ability. Mexico, for instance, is imposing a 20 percent tariff on US agricultural products including apples and 25 percent duties on Tennessee whiskey in response to Trump's trade policies.

Corker, who plans to retire at the end of this year, joined with Pennsylvania Republican Pat Toomey to draft legislation that would allow Congress to review and approve tariffs that are based on national security concerns.

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He also said that the US steel and aluminum industries have "been ravaged" by foreign trade policies, adding that "this is only the first step".

Not all is lost for senators hoping to take a break.

"This sabotage also has those with pre-existing conditions once again facing the prospect of denied coverage, increased costs and medical bankruptcy", he said, reading the letter on the Senate floor.

"Durbin said families and businesses want Congress to "undo the harm" created by the Trump administration on health insurance".

In a statement on May 24, Corker said that President Trump "abusing the authorities granted to him in Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962" was part of "a risky course and should be abandoned immediately".

A few hours later, Corker went ahead and filed the bill, along with seven other Republican senators and four Democrats.

The proposal by Corker and Heitkamp would require congressional approval of new tariffs that invoke national security interests within 60 days of submission. The requirement would apply to all such actions moving forward as well as those taken in the past two years.

Prompting criticism from many of his fellow Republicans as well as business groups, Trump decided last month to open a trade investigation into whether auto imports had damaged the US auto industry, which could lead to tariffs of up to 25 percent on "national security grounds".

Sen. David Perdue, a Georgia Republican, told Politico he supported the move.

Farm-state senators are particularly concerned about retaliatory tariffs that would close off foreign markets to pork and key crops like soybeans and corn.

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