Corker: GOP Could Be Accused Of Moving Goalposts On Financial Reform

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Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) isn’t just whacking his party’s leadership for mischaracterizing the Democrats’ financial reform bill. He’s also warning that Republican tactics could backfire.

“I think that’s a great point. If you focus on [the liquidation fund], and you make that issue all of your focus, and they fix it, which they can do so readily… I think it could in fact make it look [like the GOP is moving the goalposts],” Corker told reporters last night, after a vote on the Senate floor.Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and other leading Republicans have railed against the proposed $50 billion fund, saying it will institutionalize bailout. They’ve made it the centerpiece of their critique of the Dems’ reform bill. Corker has pointed out that, not only is this characterization false, but it’s also dangerous. Democrats are poised to remove the fund, and if they do, and GOP leadership continues to oppose the bill, they’ll have a lot of explaining to do.

I asked Corker why, if the GOP talking point is false, and the liquidation fund will not lead to bailouts, he signed his name to a letter alleging that the bill “allows for endless taxpayer bailouts of Wall Street.”

Corker waved his hands. “It is a fact that the looseness of the language around some of the regulators could give them the ability to do endless bailouts,” Corker said. “Do I believe that this fund is that? No, I do not. So my point is the letter was factually correct but for reasons–not what’s been stated publicly but for other substantive reasons.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brian Beutler is TPM’s senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he’s led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at brian@talkingpointsmemo.com

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