After a fruitless diplomacy campaign, some in the party are weighing confrontation. Most notably, Hatch is pushing legislation in his Finance Committee to reign in Trump. The effort seems to have more support from GOP leaders than legislation that would place new checks on Trump’s power to impose tariffs, which Roberts dubbed the “hand-grenade” option.
Hatch “is pretty fired up,” said Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), the No. 3 GOP leader. And “there’s definitely a lot of sentiment among members of the Finance Committee that the administration’s tariff positions are going to step on … the economic gains that we’ve made.”
Republicans senators have privately circulated a list of five tweaks that could be made to the “232” law that governs national security tariffs, according to people familiar with the matter. A number of senators believe that Trump has abused that authority with the steel and aluminum tariffs, and they are discussing whether to change the definition of national security to restrict Trump’s actions.