Corker Tries to Clarify Position on Regulatory Reform

Posted February 12, 2010 at 1:10pm

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) sought to clarify his position on regulatory reform Friday, one day after announcing he would be the lead GOP negotiator on the issue.

“After seeing some news reports, I want to make it clear that I believe consumer protection should be part of any financial regulatory reform negotiations, but I believe the best way to proceed with negotiations is to set the issue aside for now and work first through those areas where there is general consensus,” Corker said in a statement.

Corker announced Thursday that he would work with Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) to strike a bipartisan agreement on regulatory reform legislation, which could be marked up next month. The move came after Dodd announced that negotiations with Banking ranking member Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) had reached an impasse. At issue was how much power to give the consumer division, with Dodd advocating for more power and Shelby calling for less.

In his statement Friday, Corker said a stand-alone consumer agency was a nonstarter but pledged to work toward an agreement.

“I will work to see if we can find a way to enhance consumer protection without negatively impacting the safety and soundness of our financial system, and if we cannot, this will not be a bill I can support,” Corker said.