Corker slams GOP colleagues, says they're too afraid to 'poke the bear'

Evarado Alatorre
Junio 14, 2018

In remarks on the Senate floor, Senator Bob Corker on Tuesday sought an up-or-down vote on his amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would require congressional approval of tariffs designated under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962.

Corker said the ability to cite national security to issue tariffs at will, as Trump is now threatening to do on auto imports, allows the president to "wake up one morning, without going through any of these processes, and decide that on national security grounds he is going to put tariffs in place". They start off by inculcating some sense of group loyalty, then they are taught to disregard any external source of information - and, say, instead get their news from a source that is working for the cult, like Fox News - and pretty soon, they have lost any capacity to make independent judgments.

"95 per cent of the people on this side of the aisle at least intellectually support this amendment. 'The president might get upset with us as United States senators if we vote on the Corker Amendment, so we're going to do whatever we can to block it!'"

"I heard the senior senator from Texas saying the other day, 'Well gosh, we might upset the president!'" Corker said. "The president of the United States'". And a lot of them would vote for it if it came to a vote.

Corker, who is not running for re-election, said some Republican lawmakers are willing to stand up to Trump, but the party leadership is fearful and wary of "poking the bear". It happens all the time.

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"'Gosh, we might poke the bear!' is the language I've been hearing in the hallways", Corker said, his voice rising. They were joined on the bill by at least 10 other senators.

Corker has been angling to get his legislation added as an amendment to the defense appropriation bill, a must-pass measure that the Senate is now debating.

But Senator James Inhofe, the Republican who is managing debate on the defense bill, blocked the amendment as inappropriate for the legislation, preventing a vote. If his unanimous consent agreement had been adopted, nothing else related to the NDAA or where the Senate now is in the process would have changed.

America First: "To those who say this President is only picking winners and losers, let me say this: the only victor President Trump is picking is America".

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