Opinion Sen. Bob Corker Courageously Stood Up to Fellow Republicans on Tax Reform

19:52  06 december  2017
19:52  06 december  2017 Source:   U.S. News & World Report - Health

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I saw the scene with my own eyes. Last week, a packed press gallery stared down at the Senate floor where Senator Bob Corker, R-Tenn., was surrounded by a a tall posse of fellow Republican senators determined to pass the tax overhaul bill, at all costs to the nation.

Rarely have I seen such grace under pressure. This intense floor drama went on for 45 minutes after an amendment vote was scheduled to end. We reporters could not hear the conversation near the well, but the faces told the story. Corker, who is not running for re-election next year, could not be counted a team player anymore.

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CNBC's Ylan Mui reports that Tennessee Senator Bob Corker is a no vote on the tax reform package. U.S. Senate Republicans rammed forward a tax -cut bill in an abrupt, partisan committee vote that set up a full vote by the Senate as soon as Thursday.

Corker is the only one of 52 Republican senators to vote against the behemoth tax bill. For that he has my everlasting good will and vote for the best Republican of the lot – even over the quixotic Arizona Sen. John McCain, who saved Obamacare. Corker was the picture of a profile in courage, standing his ground alone against the crowd. The late President John F. Kennedy published "Profiles in Courage" when he was a senator, about the handful of senators who took unpopular votes that changed history.

Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, Corker took a tough vote because he embraced the party rhetoric over the years on fiscal restraint, i.e. not running up a massive deficit. This principle got thrown to the rough winds of winning one legislative victory this year, President Donald Trump's first year in office. This bill is estimated to add more than a trillion dollars to the deficit, which was Corker's objection. And that's not even the most scandalous part of this seriously regressive re-write of the tax code.

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President Donald Trump and Sen . Bob Corker have been feuding for the past several weeks on foreign policy and tax reform . Bob Corker , a Republican who has turned into one of the president's chief critics.

“This tax reform is our agenda, it’s the Republican Senate agenda,” Corker said on the CNBC show Squawk Box. It may be ridiculous for Corker to think that politicians can stand up to the special interests who donate to their campaigns, lobby them relentlessly and run TV ads for – or against

For the record, it's not tax reform, a misnomer. It's a massive transfer of wealth, a Christmas gift to the GOP's wealthy donor base. As Democratic senators said, it was a sloppily written (even handwritten) bill to help the rich get richer. They stuck together, all 48 in the caucus. The final vote was 51-49. Before final passage, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., bellowed, "Come down to the floor and tell me I'm wrong," declaring the bill would result in social spending cuts.

Now Bob Corker is all of 5'7". Sen. John Thune.of South Dakota is 6'5", maybe more, a giant of the earth. Texas Sen. John Cornyn, second in the Republican leadership, looks just like a Southern old bull or sheriff. I'm telling you, there were at least a dozen angry Republican men with furrowed brows involved. (Susan Collins, a Maine moderate, was part of the pack.)

Trump has mocked Corker as "little" on his Twitter tirades because the Tennessean has shown some independent thought as the months of a rocky year passed. The senator has fired back at the president and called the Trump White House "an adult day care center." He also stated several of his Republican colleagues share his dim view of Trump, but few had spoken out.

There is no love lost between Trump and several Republican senators. But give Corker this: He was the only one to stand up to a jury of his peers at a moment when history was watching.

Copyright 2017 U.S. News & World Report

GOP will sell out middle class for a win on tax ‘reform’ .
When it comes to taxes, GOP really stands for Grand Old Plutocracy. Mark Plotkin is a contributor to the BBC on American politics and a columnist for The Georgetowner. He previously worked as the political analyst for WAMU-FM, Washington's NPR affiliate, and for WTOP-FM, Washington's all-news radio station. He is a winner of the Edward R. Murrow Award for excellence in writing.

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