Speaker Ryan Applauds President Trump for Efforts to Hold Trade Abusers Accountable

"I urge my colleagues to pass it before this exercise in protectionism inflicts any more damage on the economy", Flake said in a statement.

Trump's tariffs have not yet taken effect, and congressional Republicans are hoping to convince the president to limit their scope or effect.

The president has said the tariffs are needed to reinforce lagging American steel and aluminum industries and protect national security.

"I think there's a good chance that we will nullify the tariffs", he told reporters.

Just a few months after he helped drive Trump's landmark tax reform through Congress, Orrin Hatch, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, expressed astonishment at the president's decision.

Both houses of Congress have Republican majorities.

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The fight over tariffs comes amid intense turmoil in the West Wing, which has seen waves of departures and negative news stories that have left Trump increasingly isolated in the Oval Office, according to two senior officials speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal thinking.

President Donald Trump is suggesting that Australia and "other countries" may be exempted from steel and aluminum tariffs, along with Mexico and Canada.

Even some of Trump's strongest allies, like conservatives in the House Freedom Caucus, oppose the tariffs but concede there is little Congress will do to try to stop them if Trump moves forward with them.

And Sen. Jeff Flake said he was already working on legislation to nullify the tariffs. In a January speech he castigated the president for his attacks on the media. The proposal has no co-sponsors and Republicans have not warmed to the idea of limiting executive powers on trade just yet. Sanford said. "I think you could probably point to a fair number of indications that suggest there would be". Roy Blunt, R-Mo.

"What we can't do in the body politic is whitewash the past or be purely tribal in our thinking, wherein, let's reverse the shoes, if it was a Democratic president and hush money had been paid in the campaign, would there be a series of hearings going on?"

Flake's move came amid a loud chorus of criticism from Republicans, traditionally a free-trade party, for Trump's action. Joe Manchin said, "It's past time to defend our interests, our security and our workers in the global economy, and that is exactly what the president is proposing with these tariffs".

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