Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell offered only vague support for Sen. Bob Corker on Monday when asked about the Tennessee Republican’s growing feud with President Donald Trump.
Asked about the feud by the Associated Press’ Adam Beam, McConnell simply called Corker “a valuable member” of the party’s conference.
“Senator Corker is a valuable member of the Senate Republican caucus and he’s also on the Senate Budget committee and a particularly important player as we move to the floor on the budget next week and he’s an important part of our team,” McConnell said at an event in Hazard, Kentucky.
When pressed further, McConnell reiterated his original comment.
“He’s an important part of our team and he’s a particularly important part of the budget debate which will be on the floor next week,” the Senate Majority Leader said.
Corker had already expressed scepticism about the tax plan released by Trump and Republican leaders. Given his stance as a budget hawk opposed to federal deficit increases, gaining Corker’s support was already a difficult task before his feud with Trump. The back-and-forth escalated to new heights Sunday when Corker charged that Trump’s actions could set the US on a path toward World War III.
The first step in passing the tax plan, adopting a budget resolution, is set to be debated next week. As McConnell noted, Corker is a member of the Senate Budget Committee and helped craft a resolution that would allow for $US1.5 trillion in additional debt over 10 years to fund tax cuts.
McConnell, for his part, is no stranger to Trump’s Twitter tirades. The majority leader has been the target of Trump’s attacks multiple times after the GOP’s failure to pass a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare.
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