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GOP lawmakers working behind the scenes with Democrats to curb Trump’s tariff madness

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According to a report from Wall Street Journal, Republican lawmakers are working behind the scenes to rein in Donald Trump’s penchant for declaring tariffs willy-nilly depending on how he feels about other countries and their leaders at any given time.

As the president trade war rages on — impacting manufacturers, farmers and consumers alike — Republicans looking at the 2020 election are desperate to turn around a U.S. economy that looks headed for a recession.

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According to the Journal, Kansas Senator Jerry Moran (R) is deeply disturbed by the ongoing devastation due to the president’s trade moves, saying, “This has gone on longer than I think people expected it. And so the financial consequences are increasing.”

Moran along with Republican Sen, Chuck Grassley (IA), who chairs the Senate Finance Committee, are meeting with other members of their party and making plans to reach out to Democrats.

The reports states they are looking to assert “congressional authority over the levying of tariffs,” with the aim of curbing the “type of tariff-by-tweet policy-making that has whipsawed markets and stressed U.S. businesses in recent months.”

According to Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA), who is pushing legislation requiring Trump to seek congressional approval before imposing tariffs, the law is on the legislator’s side.

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“The Constitution is very unambiguous,” he explained. “It assigns Congress the responsibility for regulating commerce with other countries and setting tariffs, and yet we’ve significantly delegated that to the president.”

The Journal adds, “Those Republicans who back having more control over tariffs say they aren’t attacking Mr. Trump but rather trying to rebalance trade powers between the legislative and executive branches without hampering the president’s ability to protect national security.”

“Mr. Toomey’s bill, which would apply retroactively, would force the president to get Congress’s approval before imposing tariffs under Section 232. It also would tighten the act’s definition of national security and require the Defense Department, rather than the Commerce Department, to justify new tariffs. Eight of the bill’s 18 co-sponsors are Democrats,” the report states.

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Sen. Jon Tester, a Montana Democrat, agreed with the GOP moves but questioned whether they have the stomach to take on Trump.

“First of all, you’ve got to get folks on the other side of the aisle who are willing to challenge the president,” he said. “The only folks I’ve seen do it aren’t here anymore.”

You can read more here (subscription required).

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‘He’s cooked’: Sam Donaldson warns Trump the Senate may vote to convict him after impeachment trial

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Veteran newsman Sam Donaldson on Monday evening told CNN viewers not to assume that Senate Republicans would refuse to remove President Donald Trump from office during an impeachment vote.

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Rudy Giuliani admits ‘Fraud Guarantee’ paid him $500,000 to work for indicted associate

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Rudy Giuliani admitted being paid a half a million dollars by an associate currently being held in federal custody, Reuters reported Monday.

"President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, was paid $500,000 for work he did for a company co-founded by the Ukrainian-American businessman arrested last week on campaign finance charges, Giuliani told Reuters on Monday. The businessman, Lev Parnas, is a close associate of Giuliani and was involved in his effort to investigate Trump’s political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, who is a leading contender for the 2020 Democratic Party nomination," Reuters reported.

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John Bolton ripped Rudy Giuliani as a drug dealer and ‘hand grenade’: report

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Then-National Security Advisor John Bolton was reportedly shocked by the shadow foreign policy being conducted by Rudy Giuliani, a top former National Security Council official testified to Congress on Monday, The New York Times reports.

"The effort to pressure Ukraine for political help provoked a heated confrontation inside the White House last summer that so alarmed John R. Bolton, then the national security adviser, that he told an aide to alert White House lawyers, House investigators were told on Monday," the newspaper reported. "Mr. Bolton got into a sharp exchange on July 10 with Gordon D. Sondland, the Trump donor turned ambassador to the European Union, who was working with Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, to press Ukraine to investigate Democrats, according to testimony provided to the investigators."

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