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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellLawmakers feel pressure on guns Bipartisan group of House lawmakers urge action on Export-Import Bank nominees Curbelo Dem rival lashes out over immigration failure MORE (R-Ky.) indicated Tuesday that the Senate won’t try to use legislation to halt President TrumpDonald John TrumpAccuser says Trump should be afraid of the truth Woman behind pro-Trump Facebook page denies being influenced by Russians Shulkin says he has White House approval to root out ‘subversion’ at VA MORE‘s steel and aluminum tariffs, noting it’s improbable the president would sign such a bill.
“I like to use floor time in the Senate for things that actually have a chance to become law. … I think it’s highly unlikely we would be dealing with that in a legislative way,” McConnell said.
Trump announced late last week that he would slap steep tariffs on imported steel and aluminum despite days of public pleas and frantic behind-the-scenes work from congressional Republicans for him to back down.
GOP Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeFlake to try to force vote on DACA stopgap plan Congress punts fight over Dreamers to March Outgoing GOP rep: Republican Party ‘heading into trouble’ in election MORE (Ariz.) introduced legislation on Monday to nullify the tariffs. But any bill would face an uphill battle given that it would either need Trump’s signature or enough support to override a veto.
McConnell added on Tuesday that the chances Trump would support such a bill are “remote at best.”
“Well on the trade issue … the administration pretty much has ball control. The thought that the president would sign a bill that would undo actions he’s taken strikes me as remote,” he said.
Republicans are widely opposed to the tariffs. But McConnell, his leadership team and House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanRepublicans are avoiding gun talks as election looms The Hill’s 12:30 Report Flake to try to force vote on DACA stopgap plan MORE (R-Wis.) have signaled they will try to get the administration to narrow the financial penalties instead of halting them.
McConnell added that there is “a lot of concern” within the caucus, and members are continuing to talk to the administration.