Bob Corker

Corker ‘really happy’ with Moore defeat in AL; Haslam sees a message

U.S. Sen. Bob Corker tells the Times Free Press that Alabama Republican Roy Moore’s Senate race loss is “good for America” as well as the Republican Party so “that people understand this kind of beyond-the-pale extremism just is not going to elect Republicans to office.”

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Corker casts sole GOP no vote on Senate tax bill

Tennessee’s Sen. Bob Corker cast the only Republican no vote on federal tax overhaul legislation that passed the U.S. 51-49 early Saturday. The next step is for House and Senate Republicans to iron out their differences over the bill.

Insofar as Corker, goes, here is an excerpt from a CNN story:

Corker had made his support contingent on leaders including a trigger in the bill that would generate automatic tax cuts in the event the tax bill didn’t get the anticipated growth. But after reworking the proposal several times, the Senate parliamentarian ruled that the trigger wouldn’t pass Senate rules that allowed Republicans to pass their tax bill along a party-line vote. Corker then demanded $350 billion in additional cuts his colleagues weren’t ready to give him.

But even Corker, who had left aides and colleagues fuming Thursday night with a dramatic showing on the Senate floor that included him huddled around the Senate’s parliamentarian and GOP leaders for more than hour, offered conciliatory remarks Friday morning at a closed-door GOP conference meeting.

According to two GOP sources, Corker moved to de-escalate the situation that angered his colleagues Thursday night, saying he was happy the party was on the precipice of passing their tax bill even if he wasn’t going to be with them. Republican leaders as of Friday morning were still trying to win his support, but sources acknowledged the reality: the decision had been made to cut him loose. They had the votes without him.

Press release from Sen. Bob Corker (issued prior to the vote):

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) today (Friday) released the following statement.

“My concern about the impact a rapidly growing $20 trillion national debt will have on our children and grandchildren has been a guiding principle throughout my time in public service. And during my 10 years and 11 months in the Senate, I have consistently fought for fiscal discipline in Washington.

“I have authored comprehensive legislation to address America’s debt crisis, including the Commitment to American Prosperity (CAP) Act and the Fiscal Sustainability Act. I also have taken some really tough votes against very popular policies, including appropriations bills, budget resolutions, defense authorizations, disaster funding, and even a veterans’ bill. 

“But at the same time, I have consistently advocated for pro-growth tax reform. And in my view, these are not mutually exclusive priorities.

“From the beginning of this debate, I have been a cheerleader for legislation that – while allowing for current policy assumptions and reasonable dynamic scoring – would not add to the deficit and set rates that are permanent in nature.

“I worked closely with Senator Toomey to negotiate the budget agreement that paved the way for this legislation. And I have worked diligently over the past few weeks with Senate leadership and the White House to make improvements.

“While I support a number of the provisions included in this legislation and continue to believe it would have been fairly easy to alter the bill in a way that would have been more fiscally sound without harming the pro-growth policies, unfortunately, it is clear that the caucus is in a different place.

“This is yet another tough vote. I am disappointed. I wanted to get to yes. But at the end of the day, I am not able to cast aside my fiscal concerns and vote for legislation that I believe, based on the information I currently have, could deepen the debt burden on future generations.

“I thank the administration, Senate leadership, and members of the tax-writing committee for working with me in good faith, and as I shared with President Trump when I called him a short time ago, I will take a close look at the product developed in conference before making a decision on the final legislation.”

TN poll approval: Haslam 57, Trump 51, Alexander 44, Corker 40

A poll of 625 registered Tennessee voters by Mason-Dixon Polling and Strategy Inc., conducted Nov. 17-20, found 57 percent approve of Gov. Bill Haslam’s job performance, 51 percent approval for President Donald Trump, 44 percent for Sen. Lamar Alexander and 40 percent for Sen. Bob Corker.

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Corker gets requested revision and votes for Senate GOP tax bill; Alexander involved with Obamacare deal

The Senate Budget Committee voted to advance the GOP tax reform bill on Tuesday on a party-line vote, with both Sens. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) backing the measure a day after threatening to withhold their support, reports Politico.  That critical vote came after President Donald Trump came to Capitol Hill to rally the troops in the tax battle.

Johnson voted for the tax bill after a back-and-forth with Trump during the lunch, according to multiple sources, over the Wisconsin Republican’s main concern: that the proposal currently gives more benefits to corporations than to businesses that pay taxes through the individual system.

… Corker, one of the fiscal hawks concerned about the deficit impact of tax cuts, said he was satisfied with details for a “trigger” to reverse tax cuts if economic growth fell short of projections in years to come. He expects details to be released Thursday.

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Corker seeks inclusion of ‘backstop’ in Senate tax overhaul; otherwise ‘very possible’ he’ll vote no

U.S. Senate Republican leaders are considering last-minute changes in federal tax overhaul legislation, including a provision pushed by Tennessee’s Bob Corker that could eliminate some tax cuts if the new law winds up adding more to the federal deficit than projected, reports Politico.

Two critical Republican swing votes, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Bob Corker of Tennessee, on Monday left open the possibility that they could vote against the tax plan in a key committee vote scheduled for Tuesday if changes weren’t made to their liking. That would tank the bill before it could reach the floor, putting more pressure on leadership to quickly make revisions.

…A handful of deficit hawks — including Corker and Sens. Jeff Flake of Arizona and James Lankford of Oklahoma — are discussing a trigger mechanism that would kick in and potentially change tax rates if the economic growth needed to defray the cost of the tax overhaul doesn’t materialize.

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Corker reported critical of Secretary of State Tillerson

From a Politico article:

Sen. Bob Corker, having already turned on the president, has a new target for his frustration: Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

The Tennessee Republican and Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman has voiced concerns about Tillerson’s management of the State Department and his still-fuzzy plans to restructure it. At a Senate hearing earlier this week, Corker agreed with several criticisms of Tillerson and his team expressed by Democrats, adding that lawmakers need to be “much more focused on holding them accountable.”

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Andy Ogles quits U.S. Senate campaign

Press release from Andy Ogles campaign

Republican conservative U.S. Senate candidate Andy Ogles is ending his campaign for the U.S. Senate effective immediately.

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Corker holds hearing on use of nuclear weapons

Just a month after he warned that President Trump may be setting the nation on the path to World War III, Sen. Bob Corker will preside Tuesday over a hearing that will examine the president’s authority to launch a nuclear strike, reports Michael Collins.

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Corker outdoes Alexander in critique of Roy Moore

Tennessee’s two U.S. senators have issued short comments distancing themselves from Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore following reports of the Republican former judge pursuing teenage girls years ago.

Sen. Bob Corker, via Twitter on Saturday (as reported by The Hill):

Look, I’m sorry, but even before these reports surfaced, Roy Moore’s nomination was a bridge too far.

Sen. Lamar Alexander, in a prepared statement (as reported earlier by The Tennessean and echoing several other prominent GOP politicians):

“If these disturbing allegations are true, Roy Moore should withdraw from the Senate race.”

 

Committee approves designation of 20,000 acres of Cherokee National Forest as wilderness

Press release from Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) today made the following statements after the Senate’s Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee advanced legislation they introduced earlier this year to preserve Tennessee’s heritage for future generations.

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