Senators Try to Use Farm Bill to Reel in Trump’s Trade Strategy06/28/2018
A group of bipartisan Senators is trying to attach an amendment to the Farm Bill that would require Congressional authority before the President can impose tariffs in the name of national security.
Republican Senator Patrick Toomey of Pennsylvania says President Trump has gone too far, is harming the economy and fundamentally, Congress has a responsibility take back its authority. “The ag community is more adversely effected by the retaliation against these ill-conceived tariffs than any other sector of the economy that I can think of. This is the bill that addresses ag policy, this is the right moment to have this debate.”
Republican Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee supported the measure and called for unanimous consent, saying the amendment has more support than any other being introduced during farm bill debate. “Farmers around our country are being hurt by this administration’s trade policies, more than 20 farm bills could help them, so it’s very important for us to address this issue now.”
Senator Sherrod Brown, an Ohio democrat, objected by saying the amendment jeopardized the passage of the farm bill. “This is a major change in policy with no legislative hearings, with no real discussion or debate.”
Corker countered the President is punishing American allies and the Senate should be allowed to vote to debate the amendment.
Co-sponsors to the amendment include Senators Ron Johnson, a Wisconsin republican, Ben Sasse a republican from Nebraska and Heidi Heitkamp, a democrat from North Dakota. It’s also supported by more than 270 business and ag groups.