In the days before his death, Roy Wood, the son of the late Sen. Charles Wood of North Carolina, spoke to a crowd of supporters at a downtown hotel in Fort Leonard Wood, N.C. “It was a wonderful thing,” Wood Jr. said.
“There was a lot of laughter.
It was a great feeling.”
But a few days after Wood’s funeral, the Senate passed a measure that gave the president sweeping powers to impose economic sanctions on anyone and any foreign entity that fails to do what he asked.
It took the Senate just one day to approve the measure, and by Tuesday night, Wood had died.
The measure was passed with a bipartisan majority.
“I’m going to keep pushing for sanctions, but I don’t know if the Congress will vote to give me that authority,” Wood said in his speech.
“So I’m going out and trying to make sure that I get it.
I know it will happen.
I’ll get it.”
Wood was a top adviser to President Donald Trump on trade and national security.
Before that, he was one of Trump’s earliest backers.
The senator’s father, a former U.S. senator and the son-in-law of the former president, Charles Wood Sr., is the chairman of the Republican Study Committee, a powerful group of lawmakers.
The senators voted against the measure last year, but Wood’s death has renewed debate on whether the GOP has been more hawkish than many of its rivals on trade or national security issues.
Wood was the second Republican to die in less than a week.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., died on Tuesday after a stroke.
Sen.-elect Lamar Alexander, R.I., died last week.
“The Senate should never give the president unilateral authority over trade and the national security state,” Sen. Richard Shelby, R.-Ala., the senior GOP senator from Alabama, said in a statement after the Senate vote.
“In fact, the House should be the final arbiter of who gets sanctions.”
“The House of Representatives is going to have to approve or reject the Senate’s sanctions bill, and if the Senate approves the sanctions bill it will set the stage for a disastrous trade war with China,” Shelby said.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called the legislation “unprecedented.”
“President Trump needs to stop talking about sanctions on China and get real,” Schumer said.
On Tuesday, Sen. Bob Corker, R., the Tennessee Republican who chairs the Foreign Relations Committee, said he is “disappointed” with the Senate, adding, “It’s not clear why the House is going forward.”
Trump signed a measure imposing new sanctions on North Korea, saying he wanted to retaliate for a U.N. Security Council resolution passed last week that condemned the country for its continued nuclear and missile tests.
“Today is not the day for North Korea to threaten the United States or our allies,” Trump said at a news conference with British Prime Minister Theresa May.
“This is not a time to be coddling.
This is not time to talk about sanctions.
This will have consequences and they will be terrible consequences.”
The North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, issued a defiant statement Tuesday morning that threatened to destroy the United Nations and launch “a new nuclear war.”
The White House says Trump and China have been working together to improve the U.K.-U.S.-China relationship, which has been badly hit by Brexit.
China has responded to the North Korean threat with an increased military presence in the region, which the White House blames on North Korean threats.
Trump and other Republicans have repeatedly said they support economic sanctions, and many Republicans have joined Democrats in opposing them.
“We have been told for a long time that sanctions are the only tool that will work to deter the North Koreans from threatening the United Kingdom and our allies with their nuclear weapons,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R, S.C., chairman of a committee on national security and foreign policy.
“That is clearly wrong.
But sanctions have worked in the past and will work in the future.
If the administration is serious about getting tough on North Koreans, it must do the same with China.”