Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) mocked his Republican colleagues for being too afraid to anger President Trump on his tariff legislation on Tuesday.
“‘Gosh, we might poke the bear!’ That is the language I’ve been hearing in the hallways. ‘We might poke the bear. The president might get upset with us as United States senators if we vote on the Corker amendment,'” Corker said on the Senate floor.
He added that the U.S. Senate 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, and so let’s don’t do anything that might upset the president.”
Sen. Corker on why GOP colleagues won’t vote on his tariff amendment:
“‘Gosh, we might poke the bear’ is the language I’ve been hearing… ‘The president might get upset with us as senators if we vote on the Corker amendment, so we’re going to do everything we can to block it.'” pic.twitter.com/pqeay3K0SQ
— NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt (@NBCNightlyNews) June 12, 2018
The Hill added:
Corker’s floor speech comes as he has tried, albeit unsuccessfully, to get a vote on his legislation requiring congressional approval for tariffs enacted for reasons of national security amid broader scrutiny of Trump’s recent trade moves.
The Tennessee Republican has pushed for a vote on the measure as part of the Senate’s debate on the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
Though GOP lawmakers have publicly fretted over Trump’s tariff policies, GOP leadership has shown little interest in formally pushing back against the president.
Corker said “politics” is blocking him from getting a vote on his legislation.
“I heard the senator from Texas, the senior senator from Texas, saying the other day, well, gosh, we might upset the president. We might upset the president of the United States before the midterms,” Corker said, referring to Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas).