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    MW
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    Jeff Flake: If The Senate Canít Vote On Blocking Trumpís Tariffs, It Should Block Tru

    Jeff Flake: If The Senate Canít Vote On Blocking Trumpís Tariffs, It Should Block Trumpís Judges

    ALLAHPUNDITPosted at 8:01 pm on June 25, 2018



    Sounds like just the ticket to rebuild his popularity on the right.

    As of four days ago, he was considering this. As of this morning, it sounds like heís all in: No more judges unless and until Bob Corkerís bill on undoing Trumpís ďnational securityĒ power over tariffs gets a vote on the Senate floor. Which, conceivably, could leave judicial confirmations bottled up for years. If Flake, Corker, and a few other Republicans dig in through November and Democrats shock the world by taking back the Senate, suddenly Chuck Schumer would be in charge of confirming Trumpís nominees. And Democratic payback for the Merrick Garland/Neil Gorsuch brouhaha would be Ö hoo boy.

    ďI think myself and a number of senators, at least a few of us, will stand up and say, ĎLetís not move any more judges until we get a vote, for example, on tariffs,í Ē Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) told ABC Newsí George Stephanopoulos on SundayÖ

    ďOn something like tariffs, for example, the Senate ought to bring legislation to the floor that says, ĎHey, weíre going to push back here.í Ö Canada, Mexico are not national security threats,Ē Flake said. ďThe European Union exporting cars to the U.S. does not represent a national security threat, and we ought to push back. And if we donít, why are we there?Ē

    Good question. Why are they there?


    Flakeís threat is both more and less than it seems. ďMoreĒ because of what I said above ó if he and Corker are serious, they could really screw Trump and the conservative base by gambling with judicial vacancies. Neither of the two have anything to lose by doing so, as theyíre both leaving the Senate in January. And if you watch carefully below, Flakeís not talking about putting a hold on any nominees, which would temporarily prevent them from getting a vote. Heís talking about letting them come to the floor and then voting no, which would kill the nomination. (Unless Mitch McConnell insisted on a revote later, I guess.) Heís playing hardball and thereís little anyone can do to stop him.

    But thereís also less here than meets the eye. For one thing, red-state Democrats might be particularly inclined right now to vote yes on Trumpís judges with the midterms bearing down. Flakeís and Corkerís no votes could be replaced by Joe Manchin and Joe Donnelly, at least until November. After that, things are likely to be easier for McConnell. While itís possible Democrats will retake the Senate, Republicans are still favored to hold the majority and probably add a few seats. With Corker and Flake gone in January, McConnell would have an easier time rubber-stamping nominees.

    Also, note Flakeís demand. Heís not vowing to block Trumpís judges until Congress passes a bill overriding Trumpís ďnational securityĒ tariffs on Canada, heís vowing to block them until Congress votes on the bill. All he wants is a vote. Thatís still a big ask under the circumstances since itís likely that Corkerís bill would pass, possibly with the two-thirds majority it would need to overcome a Trump veto. Possibly, but not assuredly: Although all or nearly all Senate Republicans surely agree with Flake on the merits against tariffs, theyíll be terrified of humiliating Trump and enraging his fans by stripping his power to wage trade war, one of his core ambitions as president. For just that reason, even if Corkerís bill passed the Senate Ryan would come under pressure not to bring it to the floor for a vote in the House, knowing that the bill might very well win a two-thirds majority there too. Suddenly the House and Senate GOP would be at war with the president four months out from the big vote, poised to override his veto and nuke his tariff authority. Imagine the tweets. So fraught would that be politically for the GOP that I think McConnell would rather let Flake and Corker bottle up judges for a few months than let the chamber vote on Corkerís bill.

    Besides, if worse comes to worst, with Flake bottling up the judges until November and the Dems then pulling off a momentous upset to take the Senate, thereíll still be the lame-duck session to set things right. I think Flake (or at least Corker) would relent at that point and start rubber-stamping judges before Schumer takes over. Heís sufficiently right-wing to prefer Trumpís Republican-approved nominees to the new round of Democrat-approved ones. I think?

    https://hotair.com/archives/2018/06/25/jeff-flake-senate-cant-vote-blocking-trumps-tariffs-block-trumps-judges/?utm_source=hadaily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign= nl




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    MW
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    Flake is attempting to do the same thing Sen. Gardner (R-CO) did with his threat to hold up on approving judges until he got Trump's promise not to go after marijuana. Of course Trump got weak kneed and acquiesced to Gardner's threat. Will he do the same for Flake?
    Last edited by MW; 06-27-2018 at 01:23 AM.
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