The House GOP’s internal strife is very well-known at this point, but surprisingly, their Senate counterparts have mostly been able to keep a lid on their infighting. Until now.
Politico reports that most of the Senate GOP, including South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham, is sick of the retiring Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker, particularly over Corker’s proposed amendment to give authority over tariffs back to Congress. On Wednesday, the two pillow boys reportedly got into it during a “private party lunch.” And it was about as weak as you’d expect:
Corker (R-Tenn.) has been on a rampage this week over the Senate GOP’s reluctance to vote on his amendment. And in a private party lunch on Wednesday as most Republicans blamed Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) for blocking amendments to a defense bill, Corker defended Paul and argued that his blockade was being used as an excuse for the rest of the party to avoid other amendment votes.
Graham, who has been blocking Paul, then jumped in. The South Carolina senator, who has argued Republicans should give Trump room to negotiate on trade, unloaded on Corker. Graham was irked over Corker’s speech in which he said the GOP doesn’t want to “do anything that might upset the president, according to four sources familiar with the matter.
“You don’t care about the Republican Party because you’re leaving,” Graham told Corker, who is retiring.
Don’t worry though, because they immediately made up—sort of:
Graham later apologized to Corker, according to Republicans. And Corker told Graham: “If you had heard the whole speech you would have been applauding.
Score one for Big Bob.
According to Politico, Graham also ripped into Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, who unsurprisingly responded in an extremely corny ass way (emphasis mine):
At the Wednesday lunch, Graham turned to Lee (R-Utah) and accused him of fundraising off his amendment that would stop the indefinite detention of United States citizens, according to a person familiar with the exchange. Lee defended himself in a raised voice, even using the word “hell” — a rare curse by the buttoned-up Mormon senator, the person said.
Not even “H-E-double hockey stick.” You’ve really done it now, Bob Corker.
“Everybody got kind of spirited, but no foul,” Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, whom Corker singled out for being too deferential to Trump during a floor speech earlier this week, told Politico. “Hopefully we’ll see a little thawing out and we can get more amendments passed and considered.” Great. I’m sure those will be lovely.