Senate Pushes Back On Trump’s Tariffs

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According to CNN, the Senate pushed back on President Trump’s policy decisions on tariffs and NATO for the second time this week.

On Wednesday, the Senate voted for the president to be required to get congressional approval before imposing more tariffs on countries for the sake of national security. Trump has already imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum from Canada, Mexico, and the EU, sparking the outrage of all three allies.

This vote comes in the midst of the NATO summit in Brussels, where President Donald Trump is currently arguing about trade tariffs and NATO contributions with America’s allies.

“The bipartisan 88-to-11 tally on the non-binding resolution” reportedly conveys the Senate’s frustration with President Trump and the tariffs he has recently imposed, which have so far resulted in disruption. The new measure would require congressional approval of any tariffs “issued under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, which requires national security concerns to be the driving reason for imposing the tariffs.”

Arizona Senator Jeff Flake (R) commented, “let’s be clear, this is a rebuke of the president’s abuse of trade authority. Can you imagine being Canada and being told your steel and aluminum exports to the United States (are) a national security threat?”

Only the day before, the Senate voted overwhelmingly in favor of a pro-NATO resolution. The vote occurred all while President Trump was attacking NATO members on Twitter for not having already spent 2 percent of their GDPs on defense.

Republican Senators Pat Toomey and Bob Corker co-authored the tariffs measure, hoping the vote “will help build momentum for future tougher legislation.” However, it is uncertain whether or not the Senate will be able to gain a supermajority or if the House of Representatives will be able to override a veto from Trump. Regardless, Corker noted, “This is a vote for Congress to assume its rightful role. It’s a baby step.”

Jeff Flake
Featured image credit: Aaron P. BernsteinGetty Images

Less than a month ago, Senator Flake blocked and put holds on nominations for appeals court judges, using this as leverage to force a vote on this very tariffs measure. At the time, Flake had stated, “I want a vote on tariffs, a serious vote on tariffs.” Flake promised to lift holds as soon as the vote occurred and is expected to follow through with that promise. While Flake had originally wanted to vote on a substantive measure on tariffs, he agreed to settle for the non-binding resolution instead.