Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
August 31, 2015

Corker Compares Reid’s Reign to Putin’s

(Courtesy Michael Bonfigli/The Christian Science Monitor)

(Courtesy Michael Bonfigli/Christian Science Monitor)

Sen. Bob Corker lit into Majority Leader Harry Reid Thursday morning, at one point comparing the Nevada Democrat’s leadership of the Senate to the rule of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The Tennessee Republican, who is the ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee, said he supports finding a way forward on filling noncontroversial ambassadorial nominations, but he said he understands why Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and other Republicans would take advantage of Senate rules in the aftermath of the “nuclear” option.

“If you allow people to just run roughshod over you — just like we’re seeing right now with Putin in Russia right?” Corker said at a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor. “He’s getting no pushback from the United States so, you know, why not do the things that I’m doing? If you don’t have any pushback, then obviously people will see a way to do even more of those things down the road.”

Corker has been something of a changed man since Reid used the procedural device known as the nuclear option to set a new precedent last November allowing Democrats to break potential filibusters of almost all nominees without needing 60 votes.

“When that happened, I finally decided after seven years, … I’ve come to the conclusion that the United States Senate will not ever function in an appropriate way with the leadership that we now have in place,” Corker said, banging the table. “It’s not going to.”

Corker said he had never made efforts of the same scale on behalf of the Republican campaign apparatus.

“I’m going to do everything I can. This last recess, I spent a week traveling the country on behalf of the [National Republican Senatorial Committee],” Corker said. “Because I want to see the Senate function again. I want to see us debate things. I want to see us legislate.”

He also said he understood the efforts by fellow Republicans to attach enhanced Iran sanctions to every bill moving through the Senate.

“We have something occurring, and yet the United States Senate is kept from debating that issue,” Corker said.

“Look, if the president doesn’t like what the Senate, what the House of Representatives has to say on Iran, he can veto it,” Corker said. “I don’t understand, I don’t.”

Reid and the Obama administration have argued that even a Senate floor vote on the Iran sanctions measure could derail international talks with the Iranians.

The latest venue for the Iran debate is a veterans policy bill that’s facing procedural votes Thursday afternoon. Reid said that he was willing to consider relevant amendments.

“Democrats were even willing to work with our Republican colleagues to consider relevant amendments to this legislation,” Reid said in a floor statement. “So it was disappointing — if not surprising — when Republicans almost immediately injected partisan politics into a debate over a bill that should be bipartisan — insisting on an unrelated amendment on Iran that they knew could derail the veterans’ bill.”

“The idea of Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon is so unthinkable that Democrats and Republicans have always worked together on this policy. Unfortunately, it seems Republicans are trying to erase that history and politicize an issue that has historically been above partisanship,” Reid said.

Corker seemed to suggest the only way to break the Senate’s logjam would be booting Reid from the majority leader’s suite.

“It’s unfortunate. Hopefully at some point we’ll return to the rules that have been long established,” Corker said. “I believe that if Leader McConnell is the majority leader after this session is over, you’re going to see how people are able to use the rules that we’ve had for years to make the Senate work.”

Corker added that could translate to more time in Washington: “It does mean you don’t work just three days a week.”

Comments (42)

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  1. oysterbay

    Feb. 27, 2014
    12:48 p.m.

    Reid is an ignorant and arrogant person who is a disgrace to our fine country. He needs to be replaced by someone who loves America and is willing to listen to all sides of important issues. He is just a useful fool for Obama and the rest of the communists in the WH.

    • stasis

      Feb. 27, 2014
      2:30 p.m.

      I disagree.

      • Charles Brown

        Feb. 27, 2014
        8:10 p.m.

        About what, the antics of Harry Reid? If so you need to be drug tested.

      • elHombre

        Feb. 28, 2014
        11:25 a.m.

        Deny. Deflect. Project. Obamadupes abide.

  2. Charles Brown

    Feb. 27, 2014
    8 p.m.

    Hemorrhoid Harry Reid is a vile pile of feces that stinks up the hallowed halls of the U.S. Senate as Democratic Majority leader for almost ten years.

    His latest rant on the floor of the Senate where he actually called the complaints about the misery of millions of U.S. citizens being victimized by the Obama healthcare mandate nothing but “lies from liars” has crossed the line of common decency! This demigod will see his end of power this November if not sooner.

    Who the hell does this ex prize fighter from Sparks , Nevada think he is? This nepotistic egotist with a law degree from a cracker jack box has been given free rein much too long! What are the 99 Senators from both parties doing to put an end to his stranglehold on the due process of passed congressional bills he shelves constantly never bringing them up for a vote?

    It is the duty of everyone to write to their elected officials and insist no matter where you stand on the issues that we will not tolerate Harry Reid calling us “LIARS” when the truth is spoken nor will we allow him to bottleneck the political process from working the way our founding fathers intended!
    As for me personally “hemorrhoid Harry” …. I am your age and would love to
    punch out your running lights … be it in Sparks or D.C. I will put you down for the count in the ring anytime. Please accept my challenge, you maggot!

  3. Sam

    Feb. 28, 2014
    10:34 a.m.

    A vote for any Senate Democrat no matter how worthy is a vote for Harry Reid as leader and the continued destruction of the Senate and America.

  4. docb

    Feb. 28, 2014
    1:14 p.m.

    After corkers stunt against workers in Tennessee…little corker should keep his trap shut..He showed his arse already..No fork…ignore the fool… he is done!

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