Update from Senator Bob Corker - May 15, 2017

Senator Bob Corker
2017-05-15 12:04:12
Bob Corker - U.S. Senator, Tennessee *A Better Way to Help the World* Senator Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, penned an op-ed in the New York Times on Wednesday with his colleague Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.) about their recent trip [link 1] to the world's largest refugee camp and the need to reform the way the U.S. delivers food aid: *Taxpayers deserve to know that the way we deliver food aid is as efficient as the American people are generous. That is why we�ve written another bill, the Food for Peace Reform Act, which would eliminate decades-old regulations that require food aid to be grown in the United States � often thousands of miles away from the people who need it � and shipped on American-flagged vessels. We estimate these reforms could free up as much as $500 million annually and allow us to reach five million to eight million more people with food in less time.* *As a result of a civil war for which they bear no responsibility, far too many South Sudanese, including those we met in Bidi Bidi, have known far too much violence, far too much suffering and far too little opportunity. Following our visit to Uganda, we are rededicating ourselves to common-sense reforms that will feed more people and save more lives without asking more of the American people � the most generous people on earth.* Click here [link 2] to read the op-ed in its entirety.� [image = corker.enews.senate.gov//images/user_images/HN6A6356.JPG] Welcoming Tennesseans to Washington* On Tuesday, Senators Corker and Alexander hosted more than 80 Tennesseans at �Tennessee Tuesday,� a regular breakfast held on Capitol Hill every week the Senate is in session for visitors from the Volunteer State. For more information, click�here [link 3]. [image = corker.enews.senate.gov//images/user_images/004_1.JPG] [image = corker.enews.senate.gov//images/user_images/010.JPG] At Tennessee Tuesday, Senator Corker thanked the Volunteer State's 2017 Prudential Spirit of Community award winners, Mallory and Wills, for their dedication to community service. [image = corker.enews.senate.gov//images/user_images/050917-RLH-063.jpg] [image = corker.enews.senate.gov//images/user_images/050917-RLH-061.jpg] Senator Corker had a good discussion with the Tennessee Hospital Association on Tuesday morning about the need for health care policy that works for the American people.� [image = corker.enews.senate.gov//images/user_images/003_1.JPG] On Thursday, Senator Corker welcomed students and parents from Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic School (Germantown) to the Capitol.� [image = corker.enews.senate.gov//images/user_images/004_2.JPG] *Ongoing FBI Investigations Must Be Free of Political Interference* On Tuesday, Senator Corker released the following statement on Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director James Comey. �While the case for removal of Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey laid out by Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein was thorough, his removal at this particular time will raise questions,�*�said Corker*. �It is essential that ongoing investigations are fulsome and free of political interference until their completion, and it is imperative that President Trump nominate a well-respected and qualified individual to lead the bureau at this critical time.� *Assad Should Be Locked up for Life* Appearing on CNN�s �The Lead� with Jake Tapper on Tuesday, Senator Corker responded to new video [link 4] that shows victims in the immediate aftermath of the recent chemical weapons attack carried out by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, which provoked U.S. missile strikes authorized by President Donald Trump last month. �I imagine like every American, horror. This barbaric leader has been doing this for years,� *said Corker* after being asked for his reaction to the footage. �I thanked President Trump for responding in the way that he did, but [the conflict] continues. [Assad]�s supported by Russia. He's supported by Iran. He needs to be put away in a tribunal and locked up for life.� �I know this has captured the imagination, I hate to say, of the world that is able to view this [video],� *continued Corker*. �But this is what we have been seeing for years. We visit people in refugee camps. We know this is underway. America has stood by, as has the rest of the world, and let this occur� There are no easy answers.� [image = corker.enews.senate.gov//images/user_images/CNN_Syria_1.jpg] [link 5] **Click here [link 6] or on the image above to watch the interview.** *FHFA Should Not Hinder Congressional Housing Finance Reform Efforts* During a hearing on Thursday on the status of our nation�s housing finance system after nine years of conservatorship, Senator Corker, a member of the Senate Banking Committee, pressed Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Director Mel Watt to explain how a draw on government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac�s line of credit at the Department of Treasury could disrupt the mortgage market, calling it a �baseless� argument. Corker also warned Watt against any unilateral action that would hinder or slow congressional efforts to reform the entities. �[Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac] have $258 billion worth of capital available to them,� *said Corker*. �This whole notion of them running out of resources is just a baseless issue, and I don�t know why that, even at this time, is being discussed because what it does, [Mr. Watt], is it changes the dynamic of what�s been happening. It makes it appear as if there�s a different approach that�s being taken by the [Trump] administration. The administration is working with us. We�re working with others to move ahead with reform, but all of a sudden, a unilateral step by you when they�ve got $258 billion in capital available� If you draw upon it � that�s what it�s for, by the way � it in no way affects the credit or anybody�s perception of the securities that are being put out.� In response to a claim by Watt that a draw from the $258 billion credit line could interrupt the market, Corker said that the risk is �nonexistent� and that a draw would have no effect on the market. �It�s one of the most baseless arguments I�ve ever heard,� *added Corker*. Corker also pressed Watt to acknowledge that it is the role of Congress, not FHFA, to determine the future of the GSEs. �It�s your belief, as we�ve discussed in multiple conversations, that the future of housing finance reform is totally Congress� job to do, and you�re relying upon us to make that happen,� *said Corker*. �It�s my sense that the [Senate Banking Committee] Chairman [Mike Crapo] and Ranking Member [Sherrod Brown] wish to take that up in the near future. And from your perspective that�s our job to do, and that�s how we determine the future of these entities?� �I absolutely agree,� *replied Watt*. [image = corker.enews.senate.gov//images/user_images/banking.JPG] [link 7] **Click here [link 8] or on the image above to watch the senator's remarks.�** *Strongly Supporting John Sullivan as Deputy Secretary of State* At the conclusion of a hearing on Tuesday to consider the nomination of John J. Sullivan to serve as deputy secretary of state, Senator Corker expressed his intention to �strongly support� Sullivan�s confirmation. �Short of something unusual happening, I have to tell you [that] I look forward to very strongly supporting your nomination,� *said Corker*. �I think you�ve acquitted yourself exceptionally well today. It is evident that in your private meetings with members on both sides of the aisle you�ve done the same there. And I really do believe that the experiences that you�ve had in other departments and the professionalism that you have [shown] as an individual have equipped you to be an exceptional deputy secretary. We thank you for your willingness to serve [and] for your family�s willingness to allow you to do something that we know is going to be a seven-day-a-week job, at least in the beginning, and probably all the way through.� [image = corker.enews.senate.gov//images/user_images/Sullivan_hearing_1.jpg] [link 9] **Click here [link 10] or on the image above to watch the senator's remarks.�**

A Better Way to Help the World

Senator Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, penned an op-ed in the New York Times on Wednesday with his colleague Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.) about to the world's largest refugee camp and the need to reform the way the U.S. delivers food aid:

Taxpayers deserve to know that the way we deliver food aid is as efficient as the American people are generous. That is why we�ve written another bill, the Food for Peace Reform Act, which would eliminate decades-old regulations that require food aid to be grown in the United States � often thousands of miles away from the people who need it � and shipped on American-flagged vessels. We estimate these reforms could free up as much as $500 million annually and allow us to reach five million to eight million more people with food in less time.

As a result of a civil war for which they bear no responsibility, far too many South Sudanese, including those we met in Bidi Bidi, have known far too much violence, far too much suffering and far too little opportunity. Following our visit to Uganda, we are rededicating ourselves to common-sense reforms that will feed more people and save more lives without asking more of the American people � the most generous people on earth.

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Welcoming Tennesseans to Washington

On Tuesday, Senators Corker and Alexander hosted more than 80 Tennesseans at �Tennessee Tuesday,� a regular breakfast held on Capitol Hill every week the Senate is in session for visitors from the Volunteer State. For more information, click here.

At Tennessee Tuesday, Senator Corker thanked the Volunteer State's 2017 Prudential Spirit of Community award winners, Mallory and Wills, for their dedication to community service.

Senator Corker had a good discussion with the Tennessee Hospital Association on Tuesday morning about the need for health care policy that works for the American people. 

On Thursday, Senator Corker welcomed students and parents from Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic School (Germantown) to the Capitol. 

Ongoing FBI Investigations Must Be Free of Political Interference

On Tuesday, Senator Corker released the following statement on Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director James Comey.

�While the case for removal of Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey laid out by Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein was thorough, his removal at this particular time will raise questions,� said Corker. �It is essential that ongoing investigations are fulsome and free of political interference until their completion, and it is imperative that President Trump nominate a well-respected and qualified individual to lead the bureau at this critical time.�

Assad Should Be Locked up for Life

Appearing on CNN�s �The Lead� with Jake Tapper on Tuesday, Senator Corker responded to that shows victims in the immediate aftermath of the recent chemical weapons attack carried out by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, which provoked U.S. missile strikes authorized by President Donald Trump last month.

�I imagine like every American, horror. This barbaric leader has been doing this for years,� said Corker after being asked for his reaction to the footage. �I thanked President Trump for responding in the way that he did, but [the conflict] continues. [Assad]�s supported by Russia. He's supported by Iran. He needs to be put away in a tribunal and locked up for life.�

�I know this has captured the imagination, I hate to say, of the world that is able to view this [video],� continued Corker. �But this is what we have been seeing for years. We visit people in refugee camps. We know this is underway. America has stood by, as has the rest of the world, and let this occur� There are no easy answers.�

Click

FHFA Should Not Hinder Congressional Housing Finance Reform Efforts

During a hearing on Thursday on the status of our nation�s housing finance system after nine years of conservatorship, Senator Corker, a member of the Senate Banking Committee, pressed Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Director Mel Watt to explain how a draw on government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac�s line of credit at the Department of Treasury could disrupt the mortgage market, calling it a �baseless� argument. Corker also warned Watt against any unilateral action that would hinder or slow congressional efforts to reform the entities.

�[Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac] have $258 billion worth of capital available to them,� said Corker. �This whole notion of them running out of resources is just a baseless issue, and I don�t know why that, even at this time, is being discussed because what it does, [Mr. Watt], is it changes the dynamic of what�s been happening. It makes it appear as if there�s a different approach that�s being taken by the [Trump] administration. The administration is working with us. We�re working with others to move ahead with reform, but all of a sudden, a unilateral step by you when they�ve got $258 billion in capital available� If you draw upon it � that�s what it�s for, by the way � it in no way affects the credit or anybody�s perception of the securities that are being put out.�

In response to a claim by Watt that a draw from the $258 billion credit line could interrupt the market, Corker said that the risk is �nonexistent� and that a draw would have no effect on the market.

�It�s one of the most baseless arguments I�ve ever heard,� added Corker.

Corker also pressed Watt to acknowledge that it is the role of Congress, not FHFA, to determine the future of the GSEs.

�It�s your belief, as we�ve discussed in multiple conversations, that the future of housing finance reform is totally Congress� job to do, and you�re relying upon us to make that happen,� said Corker. �It�s my sense that the [Senate Banking Committee] Chairman [Mike Crapo] and Ranking Member [Sherrod Brown] wish to take that up in the near future. And from your perspective that�s our job to do, and that�s how we determine the future of these entities?�

�I absolutely agree,� replied Watt.

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Strongly Supporting John Sullivan as Deputy Secretary of State

At the conclusion of a hearing on Tuesday to consider the nomination of John J. Sullivan to serve as deputy secretary of state, Senator Corker expressed his intention to �strongly support� Sullivan�s confirmation.

�Short of something unusual happening, I have to tell you [that] I look forward to very strongly supporting your nomination,� said Corker. �I think you�ve acquitted yourself exceptionally well today. It is evident that in your private meetings with members on both sides of the aisle you�ve done the same there. And I really do believe that the experiences that you�ve had in other departments and the professionalism that you have [shown] as an individual have equipped you to be an exceptional deputy secretary. We thank you for your willingness to serve [and] for your family�s willingness to allow you to do something that we know is going to be a seven-day-a-week job, at least in the beginning, and probably all the way through.�

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