Corker: Deal or No Deal

By Evan Harris

Apr 25, 2010 11:13am

Republican Senator Corker told me that it is “very likely” that Republicans will hold the line on a blocking financial regulatory reform if a bipartisan agreement is not reached by before tomorrow’s vote.   Corker told me in my “This Week” interview that, “41 Republicans in my opinion would block it unless we reached this agreement.”

That said, Corker also said he was hopeful that a compromise could be reached as discussions between Senate Democrats and Republicans continue later Sunday.



    TAPPER:  Senator Corker, the status of the Wall Street reform bill. 
Right now, the members of the Senate Banking Committee are negotiating. 
Tomorrow, the majority leader, Harry Reid, is scheduled to bring it up
for a vote.  Do you think there will be a bipartisan compromise before
that vote happens, and if not, are all 41 Republicans going to stand
against proceeding to a debate?

    CORKER:  Look, first of all, I think everybody knows, Sherrod sure
knows I want to see a bill.  I think we do need to address regulation in
our financial markets.  You know, it’s in play right now.  The fact is,
I know that Shelby and Dodd are actually on another program this
morning.  After that program, I know they’re going to continue meeting,
hopefully getting to a compromise before tomorrow evening. 

    And I think what we need to do is have a template.  We don’t need to
address every issue in this compromise, but one that deals with
derivatives, one that deals with consumer protection, and one that deals
with this orderly liquidation.  If we can get that template agreed to in
a bipartisan way, then we can debate some of the amendments that Sherrod
Brown wants to bring forth, some of the amendments I want to bring
forth.  But I think it’s very, very important that we reach that
bipartisan agreement first, because in the Senate, as you know, it takes
60 votes to change anything.

    This is something, by the way, that everyone has committed to try to
do, and that is to have this bipartisan agreement before it goes to the
floor.  I think it’s important that we do so.

    TAPPER:  So if there is no bipartisan agreement, Republicans will
block the motion to proceed to debating this bill?

    CORKER:  I think that’s very likely.  And I do want to say that we
voted this bill, 1336 pages, we voted it out of committee in 21 minutes
with no amendments, with the understanding that before the bill came to
the floor, we would reach this bipartisan agreement.

    So again, we just want to see what was stated honored.  And I know
Sherrod Brown and Austan both know I want to see a bill.  But I think,
again, having this template done first is very, very important.  It’s
very likely, I think it’s almost a given, that if we don’t reach that
bipartisan agreement, that Republicans will probably want to put in
place something that allows those negotiations to keep going for a while
until we do that.  So yes, 41 Republicans in my opinion would block it
unless we reached this agreement, which we’ve all stated needs to occur.

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