“I’m always for bringing some more of that power back to the congressional legislative branch,” Massie told TWS. “I would say that regardless of who’s president.” On the other hand, for retiring South Florida Republican Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the fact that Trump is in the White House makes her even more likely to support the bill. “I’m for anything that keeps Trump in check,” she said on her way to vote late Wednesday night.
Opponents of Corker’s bill, such as Sen. Lindsey Graham, argue that curbing Trump’s trade powers would weaken his negotiating hand amid ongoing trade conversations. “Now is not the time to undercut President Trump’s ability to negotiate better trade deals,” Graham said in a statement after meeting with Trump at the White House to discuss trade and Corker’s effort on Wednesday afternoon.
Ros-Lehtinen disagreed with Graham’s premise.
“We’re weakening congressional hand all the time by ceding any kind of legislative authority to the president. We do it all the time, and we’re doing it too much,” she said. “We’re a coequal branch of government, and once in a while we should assert that authority.”