The Senate has for the second day consecutively pushed back on President Trump, with stiff resistance to his significant tariff decisions and NATO. The president is present at the summit debating with allies over the same tariff issue.
On Wednesday, Senators voted overwhelmingly and called on the president to acquire congressional approval before quoting national security as the cause for imposing tariffs on other nations. Recently, President Trump imposed additional tariffs on steel and Aluminum from Mexico, Canada and the European Union.
The overwhelming vote on the non-bonding resolution serves as a sign to the White House on the frustration of the senators over Trump’s tariff moves which are disruptive. Senator Jeff Flake, a Republican from Arizona and a critic of Trump’s policies, says that the tariffs are a demonstration of the president’s abuse of trade authority. He adds that it is not reasonable for steel and aluminum exports to be deemed a threat to national security.
Earlier on Tuesday, the senate had voted 97-2 in support of a pro-NATO resolution. This was the same time when Trump was using Twitter to blast the security alliance for numerous reason stop being the fact that nations do not spend 2 percent of their GDP on defense.
Senator. Bob Corker believes that the vote will allow the building of momentum for tougher legislation in future even though it is not certain on whether they will acquire super majority support in the senate and house to overturn a likely veto particularly if Trump were to work against it actively. Corker says that the vote will enable Congress to assume its rightful place.
The tariff measure would require congressional endorsement of tariffs provided under section 232 of the 1962 Trade Expansion Act. The Act requires that the imposition of tariffs should be driven by concerns of national security.
Interestingly, the tariffs were imposed on US longtime allies such as Mexico, Canada and the Europe Union. They were all surprised by the fact that they were perceived to be a national security threat to the US. They, therefore, opted to issue retaliatory tariffs on US goods.
The tariffs measure vote helps clear up another issue for the Senate GOP leaders and Chuck Grassley, the Judiciary Committee Chairman, who are working on the getting the confirmation of Trump’s judicial nominees.
Initially, Flake took advantage of the narrowly-divided chamber to bar appeals court judges as a way of compelling a vote on the tariffs measure. The move not only delayed action in the judiciary committee but also on the floor.