Senate Floor Showdown: Sen. Sherrod Brown Blocks Anti-Section 232 Vote

Matthew McMullan

Matthew McMullan Communications Manager, Alliance for American Manufacturing

Some Senate Republicans don’t like the rationale for the Trump administration’s steel and aluminum tariffs. So much so that they’re trying to add an amendment to a spending bill that would halt any president’s ability to use that rationale without Congressional approval!

They’ve been at it for a while now, reports Politico:

[Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) and Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA)], with a coalition of liberal, conservative and moderate senators, were rebuffed earlier this month when trying to attach their amendment to a defense bill. GOP leaders did not want to confront the president so directly, and Corker was told his amendment had procedural problems because the defense bill wasn't a revenue bill.

Though the proposal is dividing the Republican caucus that's unsure if it wants to cross its own president, it looked like the GOP Senate leadership was gonna clear the way for a vote on whether to adopt the amendment – and add it to the farm bill. Would such a farm bill pass? Who knows! The farm bill is a huge piece of legislation. But advancing that amendment would significantly increase the chances that Republican skeptics would succeed in rolling back tariffs they don’t like.

So the Senate skeptics took the floor today ...

And they were so close to getting their vote!

But then ...

Yes, that’s right: Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) objected, and made the case for keeping the tariffs – and the rationale for them – in place:

This is a big deal.

Adding Congressional approval to any Section 232 trade cases – which allow for import restrictions on national security grounds – would remove a critical trade tool, offer no replacement solution to deal with the risks caused by global industrial overcapacity, and undermine the president who – whatever you think of him – is in the middle of an attempt to rework American trade policy that has lead to surging deficits and millions of lost manufacturing jobs since 2000.

What’s more, removing Section 232 would be very bad news to the workers around the country who have seen jobs come back because of the steel and aluminum tariffs.

This is hardly the end of this debate. The critics of Section 232 are persistent, and will find a new avenue to attack this enforcement mechanism. But for the moment, Sen. Brown has turned them back.

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Reposted from AAM

Posted In: Allied Approaches, From Alliance for American Manufacturing

Union Matters

America’s Wealthy: Ever Eager to Pay Their Taxes!

Sam Pizzigati

Sam Pizzigati Editor, Too Much online magazine

Why do many of the wealthiest people in America oppose a “wealth tax,” an annual levy on grand fortune? Could their distaste reflect a simple reluctance to pay their fair tax share? Oh no, JPMorganChase CEO Jamie Dimon recently told the Business Roundtable: “I know a lot of wealthy people who would be happy to pay more in taxes; they just think it’ll be wasted and be given to interest groups and stuff like that.” Could Dimon have in mind the interest group he knows best, Wall Street? In the 2008 financial crisis, federal bailouts kept the banking industry from imploding. JPMorgan alone, notes the ProPublica Bailout Tracker, collected $25 billion worth of federal largesse, an act of generosity that’s helped Dimon lock down a $1.5-billion personal fortune. Under the Elizabeth Warren wealth tax plan, Dimon would pay an annual 3 percent tax on that much net worth. Fortunes between $1 billion and $2.5 billion would face a 5 percent annual tax under the Bernie Sanders plan.

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No Such Thing as Good Greed

No Such Thing as Good Greed