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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Sen. Bob Corker 'Abandoned' By GOP Leadership Over Bank Reform Outreach

This post has been updated
GOP Senator Bob Corker was emphatic on Wednesday that Republicans missed a big opportunity to influence what is perhaps the most ambitious financial reform bill to pass through the Senate since the Great Depression.
Republicans declined to offer any amendments during Monday's scheduled mark-up of the bill, choosing instead to vote against sending the legislation to the Senate floor strictly along party lines. It passed out of the Senate Banking Committee with 13 Democrats in favor and 10 Republicans opposed.
Failing to reach a bipartisan deal in committee was "a very large strategic mistake," the Tennessee senator told reporters after his speech before a U.S. Chamber of Commerce summit in Washington. Declining to offer amendments, and then passing the bill out of committee along party lines, "talks about how dysfunctional, how dysfunctional we have been as a committee and the Senate has been in addressing this issue," Corker said in reference to financial reform.
Prior to Monday's meeting, Corker told the Huffington Post that, "You're probably going to witness one of the most dysfunctional committee meetings in Senate history."
On Wednesday, his tone remained the same.
"We had an opportunity to pass out a bill out of our committee in a bipartisan way, and then stand on the Senate floor and hold hands and say that we would keep amendments that were unnecessary and improper from coming onto this bill," Corker said. "Instead of that, it's been decided that we are going to try to negotiate now ...
"I think it's going to be far more difficult now that this has passed out of committee ... I think we have made a very, very large mistake, and I regret that."
Banking committee Chairman Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) told HuffPost that "what [Corker] said was his Republican leadership abandoned him."
"They decided they wanted to say 'No' again," Dodd said. "So we went ahead ... If you don't even want to offer yours, I couldn't -- if anyone wanted to offer amendments, I would have been there. They made a decision not to. That was their call. Not mine. And listen, I understand why they wanted to do it." LinkHere


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