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Senate Proceeding on Apr 19th, 2010 :: 1:32:15 to 1:56:25
Total video length: 4 hours 44 minutes Stream Tools: Stream Overview | Edit Time

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Bob Corker

1:32:12 to 1:32:34( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: then comes straight out of the mouths of others very, very quickly. mr. president, i yield the floor, and i make -- i'll withhold a point of oer. a senator: m the presiding officer: the senator from tennessee. mr. corker: i wish to speak as if in morning business. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. corkererer: mr. president, i thank you. i thank my friend from north dakota.

Bob Corker

1:32:15 to 1:56:25( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Bob Corker

Bob Corker

1:32:35 to 1:32:56( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: i too have been very distressed about the conversations around financial reform. and i don't think any side -- either side of the aisle deserves a badge of honor as it relates to the way this has been discussed. and i agree with him that this is something way beyond using poll-tested language and should, in fact, be dealt with in a serious manner.

Bob Corker

1:32:57 to 1:33:17( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: so i share -- i didn't hear all your comments but i certainly agree with you that we ought to deal with this in a serious way. if i could just one moment, i do want to say that tennessee's lost a great human being, dr. benjamin hooks, and i want to join with my friend from -- alexander from tennessee,

Bob Corker

1:33:18 to 1:33:39( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: senator alexander, in being part of a resolution to talk about his wonderful life. i know that we're going to be having ceremonies i tennessee this wednesday, but certainly he was a wonderful individual who -- who did much to benefit our country and we all are saddened with his passing. mr. president, you and i have

Bob Corker

1:33:40 to 1:34:00( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: had a number of conversations over the last weekend regarding financial reform. we've had a lot of conversations over the last year regarding financial reform. and as i've watched the public discussions over the last several days, i've been greatly distressed. as a matter of fact, i spoke

Bob Corker

1:34:01 to 1:34:21( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: is morning to a large number of businessmen in nhville, tennessee, and, candidly, became so angry thinking about the way this debate has evolved that i had to think about coming up here today and controlling that and using that in a productive way. i noticed throughout the day maybe the temper of the rhetoric has changed a little bit

Bob Corker

1:34:22 to 1:34:44( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: throughout the day, and i know that my friend from virginia and my friend from connecticut had a press conference earlier today to talk about some of the issues that are being talked about rhetorically. and let's face it, what's happening right now -- and it's unfortunate for the american people -- what's happening right now is both sides of the aisle

Bob Corker

1:34:45 to 1:35:07( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: are trying to herd up folks with language that really in many ways i don't think does justice to this issue which is very important, very difficult, and something that's very much need in our country. there's been a lot of discussion about this -- this funding mechanism, this $50 billion

Bob Corker

1:35:08 to 1:35:28( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: bailout fund, if you will. that's somebody else's words, by the way, not mine. but the fact is -- let's just and i know the american people are probably tuning in in some cases and wondering how we're jumping into the middle of this on the senate floor without a -- withoua lot of predialogue, but the fact is that we have a financial reg bill that i hope is going to come before us soon that will deal with something

Bob Corker

1:35:29 to 1:35:50( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: called orderly liquidation so that when a large institution fails, it actually fails. i mean, i think that's wha the american people would like to see happen. and so there has to be a mechanism in place, if a -- if a firm is systemically important to our country, there need to be the tools in place to make sure

Bob Corker

1:35:51 to 1:36:11( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: that it actually goes out of business. i don't think people in tennessee like to see that when a community bank fails, it actually goes out of business but when a large wall street firm fails, we prop it up. and i think that the senator from virginia, who happens to be presiding today -- i wish he was on the floor with me so we could have a colloquy over this -- but the fact is that that is something that is importanto

Bob Corker

1:36:12 to 1:36:35( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: address in a bill. a bill certainly needs to deal with derivatives. we need to understand -- we need to know that we can have a process where derivatives are cleared and we don't have anybody building up a lot of money bad instead of just doing on a daily basis, they end up in a situation where there are huge obligations. and we need to deal with some of the issues of consumer

Bob Corker

1:36:36 to 1:36:58( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: protection. so, mr. president, there's been a lot of discussion about create something called debtor in possession financing so that when the fdic comes in and seizes one o these large firms that fails, it has the money to -- to keep the lights on and

Bob Corker

1:36:59 to 1:37:21( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: to pay payroll and those kind of things while it's selling off the assets of a firm like this. the fund that's been discussed in this bill that's going to be changed i know -- and i'm fine with that, and i think that's perfectly, perfectly good -- but this fund that's been set up is anything but a bailout.

Bob Corker

1:37:22 to 1:37:46( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: it's been set up to, in essence, provide upfront funding by the industry so that when these companies arec? seized, there's money available to make payroll and to wind it down while the pieces are being sold off. now, a lot of people have said this is a republican idea. there's no question that this is

Bob Corker

1:37:47 to 1:38:08( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: something sheila bair has proposed. the fdic wants to see a prefund. the treasury would like to see a postfund. they'd like to see it come after the fact. i want to digress for a second and say that i hope the reason that treasury wants a post-fund is not because in lieu of having

Bob Corker

1:38:09 to 1:38:29( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: a pre-fund of $50 billion from these large institutions, they want to see a bank tax. as a matter of fact, i'm going to be surprised if, after republicans argue against a pre-fund and it's changed and the administration comes back and chairman dodd comes back and we end up with post-funding, both of which do the same thing,

Bob Corker

1:38:30 to 1:38:51( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: i might add, and both of them work, it's going to be interesting to me to see if whether that argument basically has led to treasury then having the ability to come back and -- and do a bank tax. i think at the end of the day, that's something that they've been wanting to achieve, and it's interesting how this debate is evolving. but -- but let me go back to

Bob Corker

1:38:52 to 1:39:13( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: this -- let me go back to this pre-fund. at the end of the day, i think what all of us would like to see happen is to see these funds, these institutions go out of business. and so do you put the money up upfront to take them out of business or do you put it up on the back end where, in essence,

Bob Corker

1:39:14 to 1:39:34( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: what's happening is you're borrowing money from the taxpayers? so would you rather the industry put the money up so the taxpayers are not at risk or would you rather that not happen and during a down time, when it's procyclical, you actually get the firms to put the money

Bob Corker

1:39:35 to 1:39:55( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: up after the fact? i think both of those, by the way, are nice arguments to have and i think they should have been debated in the committee and we can debate it on the floor, but at the end of the day, to make the total debate about whether it's pre or post, neither of which are central to the argument -- both work, it doesn't matter -- it really doesn't matter.

Bob Corker

1:39:56 to 1:40:16( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: either way, you've got to have some moneys available as working capital to shut a firm down. you can borrow it from the taxpayers -- i don't know if the taxpayers would like that much, and you can do that after the fact, as i've said -- or you can put it up upfront by the industry. either way it's going to be paid back by industry.

Bob Corker

1:40:17 to 1:40:37( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: i will say that in the dodd bill today, there's a post-funding, that if there's any shortfalls, the industry will pay that back. so, again, it's kind of a debate that ends up being silly. in fact -- the matter is, i know it's going to be changed. the essence of the bil though, is the fact that you want to

Bob Corker

1:40:38 to 1:40:58( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: make sure that -- that these firms unwind and they go out of business. so let me just -- some of the arguments that are being made, pre-funding of resolution creates a system where certain participants are effectively designated as a protected class as a result of them paying into

Bob Corker

1:40:59 to 1:41:19( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: the fund. i think it's ludicrous. that's -- that's a ludicrous argument. now, what we could do, if it would make everybody happy, is instead of getting the large firms to pay, we could get community banks to pay too. many people that would be interested in that, but if we

Bob Corker

1:41:20 to 1:41:40( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: want to get everybody in the country and get the community banks in tennessee -- i'm not interested in that, i don't think the senator from virginia is interested in that -- but if we want to do that, we can ensure that nobody's part of the protected class. so i find that to be a ludicrous argument. here's another argument. "this allows such firms

Bob Corker

1:41:41 to 1:42:02( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: competitive funding advantage over smaller institutions, like community banks. banks." so in other words, if you're saying that these large firms, if ty fail, they're going to go out of business and it's going to be more painful than bankruptcy, that somehow they're protected.

Bob Corker

1:42:03 to 1:42:24( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: i find that -- or have a competitive advantage. i find that to be kind of ludicrous and i hope that argument is not used. it probably will be but i won't hope it won't. then there's one i've read recently. the fund is a signal to credit markets that the u.s. government stands ready to prop up, bail out and insulate large financial firms.

Bob Corker

1:42:25 to 1:42:45( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: that's an interesting one. i mean, the fact of the matter is that the -- we're talking about orderly liquidation. the existence of the fund allows managers of large financial institutions to conduct riskier practices and, therefore, counterparties will not feel obliged to perform due diligence

Bob Corker

1:42:46 to 1:43:07( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: because, in the event of stress, there's such a financial slush fund available to bail out unsecured and short-term creditors. you've got to be kidding me? i opposite of what is intended. now, let me -- let me say this before somebody tunes out. i think this bill has problems. okay? and i think there are issues that need to be resolved around

Bob Corker

1:43:08 to 1:43:29( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: orderly liquidation. the senator from virginia and i both know what they are, and there are some flexibilities that have been granted to the fdic, to the federal reserve and others that need to be tiented because -- tightened, because there are just some words that

Bob Corker

1:43:30 to 1:43:50( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: should say -- instead of saying "shall" "say "may," when you're telling an agency what they have to do or what they may do. so there's much in this bill that needs to be fixed. and i want to say, as the dodd bill sits today, i could not vote for it. i absolutely cannot support the bill. but what concerns me is 9 rhetoric -- but what concerns me ishe rhetoric, the rhetoric that's being used to talk about something that is very important to our country.

Bob Corker

1:43:51 to 1:44:12( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: and it's being used on both sides, i mightdd. on one side saying they're, you know, the republicans want to protect wall street firms. i can tell you this. i think there is very few republicans that do not want to see financial regulation take place. and i think there are very few republicans that don't want to see it done the right way. and, candidly, i think most

Bob Corker

1:44:13 to 1:44:34( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: republicans and democrats are listening to community bankers. they're not listening to wall street, would be my guess. so that rhetoric to me is -- is off base. the rhetoric on my side of the aisle saying that -- that this orderly liquidation title basically keeps too-big-to-fail in place, the central pieces of

Bob Corker

1:44:35 to 1:44:58( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: it, that's not true.are there some things around the edge that need to be fixed? yes. and my sense is, as i've said on the floor before, we could fix those in about five minutes if we'd just sit down and do it. and i don't understand, i do not understand why the rhetoric has gotten where it is. i'd like to see us pass -- pass a bill that makes sense. now, the kind of things we

Bob Corker

1:44:59 to 1:45:21( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: should be talking about not the fact that -- tt this is a bailout fund. and, by the way, whether it's pre or post, that debate -- it doesn't matter to me. the fact is, we've got to have some debtor in possession financing available to wind down these firms, sell off the assets, make sure the stockholders are absolute toast, make sure the unsecured creditors are toast, make sure

Bob Corker

1:45:22 to 1:45:43( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: that it's so painful -- so painful -- that nobody ever wants to go through this. we absolutely need to do that. the american people need to know that we in congress are not institution. that they're going to live the same life and capitalism that everybody else has to live. people in tennessee when they fail, they fail.

Bob Corker

1:45:44 to 1:46:05( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: the kind of things we ought to be talking about and have been ta solve -- is -- i think we ought to have more judicial involvement in the process. i think we ought to improve the bankruptcy process so that -- so that these large institutions have a more viable route through bankruptcy.

Bob Corker

1:46:06 to 1:46:27( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: i think we ought to deal with the disparate treatment of similarly situated creditors and the fact is, the way the post funding in this bill is now up, we don't -- if a creditor receives more money than they should, that money is not recouped. we know how to fix that. i know the senator from virginia and i both know how to fix that. those are the kinds of things we

Bob Corker

1:46:28 to 1:46:48( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: need to be talking about. creditor prioritization -- prioritization. there's no question that right now in the bill certain creditors can be treated differently by the fdic than others we need to be looking at bankruptcy stacks so that people understand how much they're going to be paid back and

Bob Corker

1:46:49 to 1:47:13( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: they're going to be in the same order that they anticipate being in. we need to be tightening the definition of a financial firm. right now in the bill, the way it reads, an auto company can end up being part of this. i mean, right now it's not tight enough. auto company may be a stretch, but something other than a financial firm could be dealt

Bob Corker

1:47:14 to 1:47:39( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: with the way the language is now reading. and certainly for shiewrks fannie and freddie need to be treated the same as any other financial firm. we need to have a solvescy test make sure that regulators that do not allow regulators the flexibility to protect firms in cris. we need to make sure that there's a duration. in other words, if the fdic

Bob Corker

1:47:40 to 1:48:01( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: comes in and has to take over, after due process, tangs takes over one of these firms that has posed systemic risks, we need to know that there is an end date. the senator from virginia and i agree that conservativeship should not be on the table.

Bob Corker

1:48:02 to 1:48:22( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: this is not a receivership. these firms should not go out of business. language is not in there right. there are a number of things like this. i could go on and on. i'm probably boring much of the watching audience if there is any, with some of these technical issues.

Bob Corker

1:48:23 to 1:48:43( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: but those are the kinds of things that we in this body ought to be talking bflt and, they're important and they matter, but to e up time -- rhetoric, rhetoric that in

Bob Corker

1:48:44 to 1:49:05( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: essence is used to sort of brand something in a way that really isn't the way that it is, to me, is not productive, and i didn't come here to do that. and i think, again, i think both sides of the aisle have tried to cast t ways. it's sort of this herd process that happens around here, right? i mean, everybody wants to get

Bob Corker

1:49:06 to 1:49:26( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: everybody on the same femme so what we do is use rhetoric. it sort of quharnlings people up and gets everybody -- everybody on the same team. i don't like that process, mr. president. i don't want to be a part of that process, mr. president. i have joined in with other republicans to try to make sure that this bill gets in the

Bob Corker

1:49:27 to 1:49:47( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: middle of the road. i've done that on the basis that both sides, both sides are going to deal with good faith. i know that the senator from virginia knows that we went through a process with this bill where we voted it out of

Bob Corker

1:49:48 to 1:50:08( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: committee in 21 minutes. 1,326-page bill we voted out of committee in 21 minutes with no amendments. the stated goal was to make sure that both sides didn't harden against each other and that we could negotiator a bill before it came to the floor -- came to the floor. we'd negotiator a bipartisan bill. th's why it was stated that we did that.

Bob Corker

1:50:09 to 1:50:30( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: i mean, how can responsible senators, 23 senators, both of which -- all of which have problems with this bill, how can you vote something out of committee in 21 minutes with no amendments unless you know that a negotiation process is going to take place afterwards to

Bob Corker

1:50:31 to 1:50:51( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: create a bipartisan bill? nobody in their right mind would have agreed to do that. and so what i would say to my friends on the aisle, what i would say to the folks on the other end of pennsylvania that seem to be -- turn the rhetoric up, i tak it as a commitment, as a commitment, from my friends on thother side of the aisle that we're going to negotiator a

Bob Corker

1:50:52 to 1:51:13( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: bipartisan bill. and we're going to do that in good faith. but i also -- also expect the same on my side of the aisle. that we're going to negotiator in good faith to get a bill and before it comes to the floor -- before it comes to the floor,

Bob Corker

1:51:14 to 1:51:34( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: before it comes to the floor, the major template pieces will be worked out. the issues around consumer, the issues around orderlil orderly liquidation. there are a number of issues that we need to debate here on the floor that to me are outside the realm of the template

Bob Corker

1:51:35 to 1:51:55( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: itself. i hope that this body -- anoer senator from virginia -- i know the senator from virginia and i have quarked together a great deal. we both came from a world that was different from this.

Bob Corker

1:51:56 to 1:52:17( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: i've become greatly distressed. i get distressed at both sides of the aisle when we have an important issue like this & we turn it into sound bites. and, mr. president -- mr. president, i hope that again over the next several days this bill has been through so many et reagan administrations. everybody understands what's in

Bob Corker

1:52:18 to 1:52:41( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: it that's worked on it. everybody understands what the points are that we disagree on. as a matter of fact, end up -- if we don't end up with a bipartisan bill, it's not going to be over philosophical issues. it's going to be over the fact that the two sides just decided

Bob Corker

1:52:42 to 1:53:02( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: they didn't want to do it. it's going to be over the fact that the -- it takes both sides. the fact is that the white house can make an issue out of it. i know that things aren't going particularly well in the polling areas. i know that my friend from north dakota, talk about polling data and testing things and all that

Bob Corker

1:53:03 to 1:53:26( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: dish realize that things aren't going particularly well. maybe this financial reform bill can be something that changes that. maybe if you push the bill as far to the left as you can and you dare republicans to vote against it, maybe that's a good thing. that's not what i came here to do. i don't think that's what the senator from virginia came here to do.

Bob Corker

1:53:27 to 1:53:49( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: i know ran this bill as prolonging too big to fail -- that's what we're doing -- then we mitt be able to keep the bill from passing that way, too. i hope that -- i hope that all of us will sit down and do what weame here to do, and that is to -- that is to create good policy for the american people.

Bob Corker

1:53:50 to 1:54:10( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: i'm very distresd, very distressed, about where we are today. what i hope is happening is that this is just a bunch of buzz and that our committee staffs and the chairman and rank member are actually sitting down having serious discussions and that very soon we're going to come

Bob Corker

1:54:11 to 1:54:33( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: forth with a bill that is bipartisan, where we can debate it on the edges, end up passing legislation that stands the test of time, and i hope that bill will deal with the very core issue that got us into this cris, and we can castigate all kinds of people. there's enough blame to go around.

Bob Corker

1:54:34 to 1:54:54( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: you almost couldn't find a regulator, credit rating agency, a firm, managemen that wasn't in some way involved in helping this crisis be created. there's lot of blame to go around. but i hope the bill at the end of the day will also address, as i've stotted every time i come up to the floor on this bill, a whole issue of underwrite. the fact that at the end of the

Bob Corker

1:54:55 to 1:55:18( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: day, at the bottom of this, whether you read what happened with goldman's supposedly accident happened with goldman on friday. you read all about these synthetic c.d.o.'s. where there weren't really underling mortgageds there. they were just doing something that reflect what had certain mortgages would do. at the end of the day it still

Bob Corker

1:55:19 to 1:55:39( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: was about the fact that in this country, in this country, we wrote a bunch of mortgages that couldn't be paid back. i mean, you can talk about this all you want, but the underwriting, the bad loans that were written, at the end of the day are what created much of this crisis and candidly, i don't think this bill addresses that. i hope we will address that more

Bob Corker

1:55:40 to 1:56:01( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: fully before the bill comes to the floor. with that, mr. president, i think i've taken up my allotted time. i thank members of this body for their patience. er i hope that we will do the work needs to be done here. as i mentioned, at this point, i don't think either side of the

Bob Corker

1:56:02 to 1:56:22( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: aisle deserves a badge of honor ukes but i hope over the next several days that will change. i hope our rhetoric will be tempered. i hope our discussions will center around those things that really matter and will noted be used to basically get people in the public off on rabbit trails or try to herd our teams together. mr. president, again, i thank

Bob Corker

1:56:23 to 1:56:25( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: you and i look forward to working with you, as we try to

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