Repay Taxpayers

Senator Bob Corker
2013-03-09 09:09:01
Bob Corker - U.S. Senator, Tennessee


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Update from Senator Bob Corker
March 9, 2013

Fannie and Freddie Income Must Be Used to Repay Taxpayers, Reform Housing Finance

In response to 

"It's great that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are showing an increase in income, but we need to remember that they are making money because the Fed's relentless mortgage asset purchases, artificially high conforming loan limits, and years of uncertainty over the new rules for private label securitization have completely crowded out private capital and made Fannie or Freddie the only viable execution option for new loans,� said Senator Corker. �So while I am hopeful that taxpayers can quickly be repaid for their investment in the GSEs, any money that these government owned entities make must be allocated solely toward building a more sustainable 21st century system of housing finance that restores the private mortgage market after years of government dominance.�

Fannie and Freddie were taken into government conservatorship in 2008 and have already cost taxpayers $137 billion.  The entities own or guarantee roughly half of all mortgages in the U.S. at a total value of more than $5 trillion.

Congress Needs to Stop Hamstringing the Postal Service 

In reaction to reports that the House has added legislative language to the �CR� (continuing resolution spending bill to fund government) that would force the Postal Service to continue six-day delivery, Senator Corker said, �This is the worst of Washington � here Congress is unable to pass reforms that would enable the Postal Service to operate and not be a burden to taxpayers, and yet Congress also continues to interfere and not allow the Postal Service to make the decisions it believes are necessary to operate viably in the future. If this action is carried through, Congress will be hamstringing the Postal Service, hastening its demise and probably adding additional financial burdens to U.S. taxpayers.�

The Postal Service estimates it would save roughly $2 billion a year by moving to five-day delivery for some postal products.

Close Examination of U.S. Drone Policy and Executive Branch�s Use of Force Overseas Needed

Following debate in the Senate over the Obama administration�s drone program this week, Senator Corker called for a close examination of the policy in hearings before the Foreign Relations Committee to answer key questions related to the use of drones and the executive branch�s use of force overseas.

�Congress has long abdicated its legitimate and constitutionally-mandated role in authorizing the use of military force. It is critical that Congress regularly and carefully look at the way the executive branch employs the use of force,� said Corker. �In particular, I have serious concerns regarding our current drone policy, and I intend to seek answers to my questions in hearings before the Foreign Relations Committee, which has jurisdiction over the executive branch's use of its war-making authority. I believe our committee should play a decisive role in examining these questions, and I intend to work with the chairman and other interested committee members to work on these matters.�

Laying the Foundation

After a dinner meeting with President Obama and 11 Republican senators to discuss our nation�s fiscal issues on Wednesday, Senator Corker said the dinner was �very sincere and constructive� but that �obviously, the proof is in the pudding.�

�It was very sincere and, I think, a constructive dinner� There�s an air of cooperation that was created� I don�t think we�re going to have some grand bargain over the next month or six weeks, but I think the purpose was to lay the foundation� Obviously, the proof is in the pudding� But I do think there was a sincerity and a soberness around this issue that, hopefully, will translate over time into some real solutions. We need to focus on the common areas� and do something that�s great for this nation� You cannot deal with our nation�s biggest issues without presidential involvement. It just cannot happen� So, I do hope there�s a change that�s taking place� I certainly like this new approach much better than being campaigner-in-chief. There�s no question. Hopefully, it�ll lead to a solution that�ll be good for our country.�

Top-to-Bottom Review of State Department and U.S. Foreign Aid Programs Needed

Senator Corker, ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on Wednesday said on U.S. reconstruction funds in Iraq demonstrates the need for a top-to-bottom review of the State Department and U.S. foreign assistance programs to ensure taxpayer dollars are used to advance U.S. interests. The final report from the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction Stuart Bowen captures lessons learned and details the extent of within the $60 billion of U.S. funds spent on Iraq reconstruction over 10 years.

�The extent of waste and abuse in the $60 billion of Iraq reconstruction funds coupled with the instability still evident in Iraq is appalling and highlights real failures of planning and execution that must be corrected to make U.S. foreign assistance a more effective tool for advancing the national interests of our country. At the same time, this final Iraq reconstruction report also highlights some approaches that worked and could be applied to future reconstruction efforts, especially the billions of dollars in remaining reconstruction funds for Afghanistan,� Senator Corker said. �Going forward, I am committed to working with the State Department, USAID, and the administration, to provide the kind of accountability and oversight the American people deserve. We owe this not only to the American taxpayers, but also to the men and women � civilian and uniformed � that we send into dangerous and challenging environments to secure the area and implement U.S. programs.�

New Approach to Counter North Korean Threat Needed

In Thursday�s Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing to examine U.S. policy toward North Korea, Senator Corker noted the failure of decades of U.S. attempts to convince North Korea to abandon its nuclear program and urged the U.S. to consider a new approach to counter the North Korean threat, while still emphasizing the importance of China�s role and maintaining a robust U.S. nuclear deterrent to protect our allies in the region.

�U.S. officials have used diplomacy, energy assistance, financial sanctions, and counter-proliferation tools, including proactive interdiction activities, but despite the varying combinations of tools, we have failed to persuade the North Korean regime to abandon its nuclear weapons program. After nearly 20 years of unsuccessful policies by several administrations, we need a comprehensive review of our North Korea strategy, including harnessing new tools to try to crack the North Korea policy nut. That is why I worked with the chairman and other members of this committee to move forward the North Korea Nonproliferation and Accountability Act which would require the administration to review our approach to North Korea. Undertaking such a review does not require us to abandon diplomatic efforts or terminate sanctions, but it does require us to redouble our efforts to think �outside the box,�� said Corker. �It has become increasingly clear that U.S. policymakers ought to pay closer attention to the non-military aspects of deterrence, including efforts to weaken and debilitate the North Korean regime. However, do not mistake my interest in the non-military aspects of deterrence as a call to abandon the military and security aspects of our overall North Korea policy. I firmly believe that a robust U.S. nuclear deterrent is essential to U.S. security and remains critical to maintaining our security commitments to allies in the Asia-Pacific, including Japan and South Korea.�

The (S.298), cosponsored by Corker, passed the Senate on February 25 and calls for implementation of new sanctions against the dictatorship in Pyongyang, including additional steps by the U.S. and the international community to confront North Korea�s proliferation of nuclear and other dangerous technology.

For more information, click �Nuclear Zero� Offers Nothing Worth Having

In a Wall Street Journal Tennesseans Visit Washington

This week, Senator Corker met with several groups of Tennesseans visiting Capitol Hill. On Tuesday, Corker met with a group of 85 Tennesseans who were in Washington for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee�s (AIPAC) annual policy conference, a group of EMS professionals from across Tennessee and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority members from Tennessee.

March 5, 2013 � Senator Corker meets with Tennesseans visiting Washington for AIPAC�s annual policy conference. The group discussed key issues affecting the U.S.-Israel relationship and U.S. Middle East policy with Corker.

March 5, 2013 � Senators Corker and Alexander meet with Delta Sigma Theta Sorority members at a weekly constituent breakfast.

March 5, 2013 � Senator Corker greets EMS professionals from across Tennessee at a weekly constituent breakfast.

New Addresses for D.C. and Tri-Cities Offices

Senator Corker�s Washington, D.C. and Tri-Cities offices have moved. Updated contact information for the two offices follows.

425 Dirksen Senate Office Building
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510
Phone: 202-224-3344
Fax: 202-228-0566

1105 East Jackson Boulevard
Suite 4
Jonesborough, TN 37659
Phone: 423-753-2263
Fax: 423-753-3679

The Tri-Cities office is one of Corker�s six state offices and serves the following Tennessee counties: Carter, Claiborne, Cocke, Grainger, Greene, Hamblen, Hancock, Hawkins, Jefferson, Johnson, Sevier, Sullivan, Unicoi and Washington.

Corker�s other state offices are located in Knoxville, Chattanooga, Nashville, Jackson and Memphis.

Contact information for each office is available