A new bill has been introduced by the powerful chairman of the Senate Finance Committee designed to reassert the federal legislative branch’s role in U.S. tariff policy.
The legislation, proposed by Iowa Senator Charles Grassley, comes just days after President Trump threatened to increase tariffs on all imports from Mexico unless that country did more to reduce illegal immigration at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Even though the White House subsequently discarded the increased tariff idea, noting that Mexican officials had promised to increase border enforcement, Grassley said such tariff matters should not be handled solely by the executive branch.
“Congress has delegated too much authority to the President of the United States,” Grassley commented to reporters in discussing his legislation.
While he denied that his bill is a specific response to Trump’s Mexican tariff threat, Grassley said the legislative branch’s abdication in such matters has been going on for decades.
“The constitutional crisis comes from the elected representatives of the people over the last 80 years making a dictatorship out of the presidency,” Grassley said, later replacing the word “dictatorship” for “kingship”
The Iowa Senator said his ultimate goal is to craft a bi-partisan bill that would reduce overall executive branch tariff policy-making and enforcing.
When the White House made its threat to increase Mexican tariffs, Grassley issued a statement remarking: “Trade policy and border security are separate issues. This is a misuse of presidential tariff authority and counter to congressional intent.”
By Garry Boulard
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