Senators Schumer and Graham have wisely delayed the vote on their punitive bill on imports from China until September, long after Hu Jintao’s White House tour, but just in time for another showdown in the runup to November’s elections. It’s interesting to note, however, that neither senator is up for re-election this year: they are both slated to face their constituents in 2010, which hardly paints their sabre-rattling as election-year posturing.
In the meantime, a new bipastisan Senate duo have emerged with a fresh idea on China, one that does not threaten to prohibit the cheap goods that we Americans so dearly love from entering the country, but that can still show the voters that Congress is "doing something" about China. Senators Charles Grassley (R) and Max Baucus (D) have proposed that the Treasury Department decide whether China is a currency manipulator. Though under pressure from many in the past, the Treasury has so far refused to take this step. China wins this round, it seems.