McConnell Won’t Pass Legislation to Rein on Trump’s Tariffs Authority

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stated on Wednesday that the Senate is not going to pass a legislation meant to regulate President Donald Trump’s tariff authority, regardless of the growing frustration within the Senate about the administration’s recent trade policies.

“We’re not going to be, in the Senate, passing a bill preventing the President from what he can legally do under current law,” McConnell told Fox News on Wednesday night.

When Republican Senator Bob Corker tried to put pressure on McConnell to change his mind. The GOP leader said: “We’re not going to be passing that in the Senate.”

McConnell’s remarks come shortly after a bipartisan group of senators, led by Corker, introduced legislation that would require Trump to get congressional approval if he wants to implement tariffs under the national security provisions of the trade law, referred to as Section 232.

Trump was faced with heavy criticism from congressional Republicans after the White House announced late last week that they were issuing steep tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from the European Union, Canada, and Mexico, ending temporary exemptions for the key trading allies.

According to The Washington Post, Republicans worry that Trump’s trade policies could hurt the economy months before a midterm election resulting in losing the approval rating gained by the tax reform bill passed late last year.

McConnell added during his interview with Fox News that he also wasn’t “thrilled” about the administration’s tariff decisions, but he trusts that Trump knows what he’s doing. Meanwhile, the rest of the Republican leadership has shown little interest in picking a fight with Trump over tariffs.

On Wednesday McConnell said that he would not support Corker’s legislation, adding that it was an “exercise in futility.”

His remarks on Wednesday come after the senator said to reporters on Tuesday that he would not bring Corker’s legislation up as a stand-alone bill but adding that the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) would be open for amendment.

McConnell also said late last week at an event in Kentucky that there was “not much” Congress could legally do about trade tariffs.

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