Angry Corker blames tariff amendment rejection on Republicans afraid to ‘poke the bear’ (President Trump)

Sen. Bob Corker chastised his fellow Republicans on Tuesday for failing to allow a vote on his proposal giving Congress the chance to accept or reject tariffs imposed by the president, reports USA Today.

His voice occasionally rising, the Tennessee Republican said in a fiery speech on the Senate floor that Republicans are afraid to give his amendment a vote because they fear angering President Trump.

“I can’t believe it!” said Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “I would bet that 95% of the people on this (Republican) side of the aisle support intellectually this amendment — I would bet higher than 95 percent — and a lot of them would vote for it if it came to a vote.”

“But no, no, no!” Corker continued. “Gosh, ‘we might poke the bear’ is the language I’ve been hearing in the hallways ….The president might get upset with us as United States senators if we vote on the Corker amendment, so we’re going to do everything we can to block it.’”

The amendment in question is a bipartisan proposal offered by Corker and 13 other senators last week that would allow the Senate to accept or reject tariffs when the president puts them in place as a matter of national security.

Corker and the other sponsors offered the amendment in response to Trump’s recent decision to impose steel and aluminum tariffs on U.S. allies, a move that analysts said pushed the United States closer to a trade war. Trump imposed the tariffs by arguing they are needed for national security.

… The amendment in question is a bipartisan proposal offered by Corker and 13 other senators last week that would allow the Senate to accept or reject tariffs when the president puts them in place as a matter of national security.

Corker and the other sponsors offered the amendment in response to Trump’s recent decision to impose steel and aluminum tariffs on U.S. allies, a move that analysts said pushed the United States closer to a trade war. Trump imposed the tariffs by arguing they are needed for national security.

… Corker is offering his tariff proposal as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, a must-pass bill that the Senate is currently debating and could approve later this week.

Further from the Times Free Press:

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. He was asked by Senate leadership to fix the issue, which is what he sought to do on the Senate floor. Corker said he asked for unanimous consent to place the current NDAA text on a House-passed revenue shell.

Changing the shell of a bill is routinely done as part of the legislative process, including on the fiscal year 2017 NDAA.

Corker said such procedures are “used as customarily as waking up in the morning and drinking a cup of coffee,” he said.  “It happens all the time.”

He also asked that his amendment be called up and made in order so the body could vote up or down on the merits of the amendment. If his unanimous consent agreement had been adopted, nothing else related to the NDAA or where the Senate currently is in the process would have changed.

But the as the floor manager, U.S. Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) objected, stalling Corker’s effort.

Note: The above video is posted on Corker’s Senate website, along with a press release on his remarks, HERE.

UPDATE: A day after his Senate floor speech, Corker had some follow-up comments to reporters in Washington. As reported by the Tennessean:

“We are in a strange place…It’s almost, it’s becoming a cultish thing, isn’t it? It’s not a good place for any party to end up with a cult-like situation as it relates to a president that happens to be of, purportedly, of the same party.” 

Corker, who is retiring from the Senate when his current term ends in January, later tempered his remarks by saying it’s not fair to make that criticism of every member of his party because some GOP lawmakers are willing to stand up to Trump.

But, “Is leadership in general not wishing to poke the bear?” he asked. “Absolutely because it’s all about the next election, right?”

15 Responses to Angry Corker blames tariff amendment rejection on Republicans afraid to ‘poke the bear’ (President Trump)

  • Steve L. says:

    Corker is the lamest of ducks. He squandered his influence and reputation in the Senate in the pursuit of money. And he hurts Tennessee in the process. Shame on you, Corker. And you do not offer alternatives to the President’s approach, you just offer criticism. No solutions from Corker. So sad. Oh well, sorry Bob, but the rest of us are back to winning, winning, winning. Buh, bye, Bob!!

    • Sen. Bob Corker is not “my guy”. I am 100% Blue Team. But you have to admire the man for having the personal integrity to stand the hell up and speak the truth even though it was not to his personal advantage to do so.

      Between all of us who read this column, there would be differences between what we see as “the truth”. But, I would expect that we all would agree that an individual given such a high office as a US Senator has a duty to speak the truth as he sees it.

      Here is my question: how does Lamar Alexander walk around all day with no backbone at all? Look at the attached photograph. Look at Lamar’s face. Yes, it is only one photograph, but it is indicative of Lamar’s face each and every time he is in the presence of President Bone Spurs. Clearly, Lamar Alexander cannot stand the man. I agree; while Lamar Alexander is an opponent of my political party, most of us would agree that he is a man of some integrity and class — up until now.

      I am absolutely sure that it grates Lamar Alexander to know and to see this reality TV star sitting in the Oval Office when he could not get there.

      And that is the thing: there is no higher office that Lamar Alexander could be holding his fire in order to obtain. He is never going to be the president of the United States. Sorry. The only thing he has left to work on is his reputation and legacy. The only thing Alexander has left is to play for the history books.

      Go out as someone who speaks the truth when it cost you something to do so, Senator. If you think that Trump is great [I very much doubt that] stand up and say so. But if you think, as I do, that he is the most pathetic and dangerous occupant of the Oval Office in your lifetime, would you mind please being a patriot, standing up on your two feet and saying so?

      All of the traditional, conservative, Republican leadership is hiding under their desks, as if that is going to save them.

      It will not. My prediction — and I would bet that everyone reading this going to agree with my prediction — my prediction is that eventually we are going to see the greatest political hog killing of my lifetime when we send President Bone Spurs to the ash heap of history.

      After Blue Team dispatchs The Donald, we are going to start looking for “Secondary Targets”. Everybody that is not against this ….person…is for him.

      In the face of some great wrong, SILENCE IS COMPLICITY. That, or its equivalency, is going to be the slogan of Blue Team after Donald is returned to private life. All of the traditional Republicans know that day is coming, but it is there hope that, on that day, they can get out from under their desk and say, “Boy, who was that crazy guy? You know, the fellow that was going to grab women by the _______ . That fella who looking at a certified copy of a Hawaiian birth certificate said, “I still think that uppity colored boy was born in Kenya”.

      That is not going to be possible, Grand Old Party leadership. When you get as high in the government/political world as Lamar Alexander or Mitch McConnell, I do not think that you can stand mute, or hide under your desk, when a very important issue to America’s future presents itself. And the leadership style of Donald J Trump (not to mention the fact-free substance of his policies) is a very important issue to America’s future. I do not think that you will be able to run against Hillary Clinton, or Nancy Pelosi to retain your Senate seat, Senator Alexander, when you stood like a silent coward and said nothing when This Person did so much damage to the Republic.

      Here is the photo I mentioned. Taken at the moment of greatest triumph of the glorious Trump administratrion. A huge day for Red Team. Can you read faces at all? What is Mr. Alexander thinking about “D.D.” (ask Michael Cohen) right here? Can you find a single photograph where Alexander is looking at D.D. with respect?

      https://goo.gl/images/YLsbCp

    • My personal opinion Steve is that if you are going to offer your opinion out to the world, you should have the backbone to put your whole name behind your statement. I am Jere Ownby of Knoxville Tennessee.

    • Joe Benedict says:

      IMHO – this is not winning but actually losing. Doing what is the right thing should be our version of winning even if it’s not popular. When we slough off and look the other way about things we know are not right, we are giving away what our Founding Fathers fought for – that’s what is really So Sad. BTW – I think Mr Corker knows more about the situation that either one of us.

  • James White says:

    Marsha too will and has sold out to the highest bidder (aka Lobby). She votes for all the Sovereignty destroying ‘free’ trade agreements, and voted to give the President Trade Promotion Authority. Unconstitutional.
    Conservatives should be Tired of the Marsha “Deep State” Blackburn’s of the NeoCon wing of the Republican party. If you keep voting for what you don’t want you will never get what you want.
    Marsha Blackburn votes for More Government, More Debt, and Less Freedoms. I don’t want that.

    • When the average Tennessean finds out what is gonna happen to their internet and their cable bill, John Doe Citizen should be reminded that this all can be laid at the feet of Marsha “Stormy” Blackburn. (the way she addresses President Bone Spurs….wow)

  • Leslie Parsley says:

    Steve L: I have never been a big Corker fan but face it, the man has more knowledge about foreign affairs and tariffs in his little finger than Trump could ever have in a million years. Didn’t this past week tell you anything?

    • Steve L. says:

      Leslie, Corker promised the electorate he would make sure the Iranian deal was well crafted and not let Obama advance the America Last diplomacy he was so fond of. He lied. And he knows nothing about keeping promises. What in the world makes you believe that this small city contractor with 11 years in the “make-believe world” of the Senate would be an expert in Foreign Affairs? Trump dealt with folks like him all the time and had the best of them. Daily. So did Obama. Corker is a pretender and a loser. And thanks for setting me up so I could say that, Leslie.

    • Amen.

  • James White says:

    Free trade agreements have decimated the base of American manufacturing by off-shoring jobs and factories, fueling the import of cheap foreign-made (and sometimes deadly) products. A free trade agreement is nothing more than trade heavily regulated by unaccountable regional governmental bodies that operate outside of the American judicial system. The global power elites view multilateral free trade agreements as one of their main vehicles for establishing, step-by-step, socialistic regional governments controlled by themselves as stepping stones toward a socialistic global government under the United Nations. President Trump has taken action to stop the TPP, but is considering renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement.

  • Donna Locke says:

    So tired of this guy.

  • Tommy Ray McAnally says:

    TRUMP IS A LIAR, TRUMP TALKS BIG ABOUT THE VETERANS BUT WENT ALONG WITH BLACK,BLACKBURN,COOPER, ALEXANDER,DESJARLAIS, AND ALL OF THE DRAFT DODGERS IN DC WHEN HE (TRUMP) WENT ALONG WITH ALL THESE PEOPLE AND OK’D THE PRESCRIPTION DRUG BILL TO MAKE THE RETIRED MILITARY PAY FOR PRESCRIPTION DRUGS. DISGRACEFUL. DISGRACEFUL.

  • William Upton says:

    Corker is just looking for attention. I wish he would just dry up and blow away.

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