Bob Corker ripped into his party Tuesday for sidestepping a vote on his amendment to roll back U.S. President Donald Trump's trade authority - by blocking it altogether. "Primary voters in the Republican Party have devolved into a Trumpist cult", the host added. Add Republican Party as an interest to stay up to date on the latest Republican Party news, video, and analysis from ABC News.
"He continued: "'We might poke the bear!' is the language I've been hearing in the hallways. "We might poke the bear. And all my amendment would do is say, 'Look, Mr. President, you go negotiate, but when you finish, come back, and as senators and as House members, let us vote up or down'". Corker's amendment would limit Trump's ability to impose tariffs on national security grounds - a move which Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has repeatedly called "insulting". The bill, which has 13 co-sponsors, would require the president to receive Congressional approval before restricting trade on the grounds of national security.
Inhofe, who is managing floor debate on the measure while Armed Services Chairman John McCain, R-Ariz., is absent, said he did not object to Corker getting his amendment heard but thought it was not appropriate for the defense authorization legislation. He was asked by Senate leadership to fix the issue, which is what he sought to do on the Senate floor. But his Republican colleague, Sen.
In recent days, Republican leaders have opposed the measure, citing their concerns over tying the president's hand in negotiating a better trade deal.
Corker, a Tennessee lawmaker who is retiring in January, is increasingly open about his frustrations with Trump's trade and other policies.
"We have been here a year and a half and because Senators, United Senators that are elected by people in their state don't want to cast a tough vote, they block everybody from voting", he said.
"I heard the senior senator from Texas saying the other day, 'well gosh, we might upset the president of the United States before the midterms!"
Corker last week was told that his amendment may have a so-called "blue slip" issue should it reach the House of Representatives, a technical issue that requires revenue-related legislation to originate in the House. "We can't do that because we'd be upsetting the president, the president of the United States'".
"I can't believe it", Corker exclaimed. People can vote up or down. But, no, the United States Senate right now, on June the 12th, is becoming a body where, 'Well, we'll do what we can do, but, my gosh, if the president gets upset with us then we might not be in the majority.