Ranking Member's Press

June 13, 2013

Corker Continues Quest for Answers on Obama Administration’s Rationale for Alleged U.S. Cash Payments to Afghan President Karzai

WASHINGTON - Having not received a response from the Obama administration about the rationale for alleged secret cash payments to Afghan President Hamid Karzai, U.S. Senator Bob Corker, R-Tenn., ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee, today sent his third letter to the president demanding a briefing to understand how these payments support U.S. objectives for Afghanistan. Corker further called for "a U.S. policy that is based, fundamentally, on the same values that make our nation gre… Continue Reading


June 10, 2013

Corker Urges President Obama to Provide Weapons & Training to Vetted Syrian Opposition Groups to Help Shift Balance Toward Moderates

WASHINGTON - With reports that the Obama administration is close to a decision on providing arms to the Syrian opposition, U.S. Senator Bob Corker, R-Tenn., ranking member on the Foreign Relations Committee, today sent a letter to President Barack Obama encouraging him to "begin providing lethal aid to appropriately vetted elements of the Syrian opposition" as part of "an overall strategy to strengthen moderate opposition forces in Syria" who could lead Syria after Assad. This approach provide… Continue Reading


June 07, 2013

Corker: Disclosure of NSA Surveillance Programs Necessitates Congressional Oversight to Ensure Anti-terrorism Actions Comply with the Law

WASHINGTON - Following a briefing for senators yesterday from U.S. intelligence officials regarding the recent disclosure of NSA terrorism surveillance programs encompassing a wide array of Americans' communications, U.S. Senator Bob Corker, R-Tenn., ranking member on the Foreign Relations Committee, said Congress must exercise its oversight responsibility to ensure these programs comply with the law, including looking at solutions to better protect the information of innocent Americans. "I thi… Continue Reading


June 06, 2013

Corker Seeks Explanation from White House for NSA’s Sweeping Collection of U.S. Phone Records

WASHINGTON - In a letter to President Barack Obama today, U.S. Senator Bob Corker, R-Tenn., ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee, sought an explanation regarding reports of the National Security Agency's collection of U.S. phone records on Verizon's network of 121 million customers. A court order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court compelled Verizon Communications Inc. to turn over records for all calls placed within the U.S. and between the U.S. and other countries. "… Continue Reading


June 05, 2013

Corker Statement on Transition at National Security Advisor

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Bob Corker, R-Tenn., ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee, today made the following statement regarding President Obama's decision to appoint U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice as National Security Advisor, replacing Tom Donilon. The position of National Security Advisor does not require Senate confirmation. "I appreciate the work Tom Donilon has done as National Security Advisor. Now that the president has made a decision on his replacement, I had a very good con… Continue Reading


June 04, 2013

Corker: U.S. Sanctions on Iran Should Target Regime, Maintain International Consensus on Isolating Iran

"We want to make sure the sanctions that we put in place work. We're trying to time them and put as much pressure as we can to cause behavior change [within the Iranian regime]. At the same time, we don't want to do things that are going to end up being ineffective or cause our coalition to break apart," said Corker. The U.S. currently has an array of sanctions targeting the Iranian oil, financial, shipping, petrochemical and auto sectors, which have proven increasingly effective in isolating I… Continue Reading


May 23, 2013

Corker Reiterates Call for Congress to Update 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Al Qaeda to Address Evolving Terrorist Threats

WASHINGTON - In advance of President Obama's address on U.S. counterterrorism policy today at National Defense University, U.S. Senator Bob Corker, R-Tenn., ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today reiterated his call for Congress to have a serious debate about updating the 2001 congressional authorization for use of military force against al Qaeda and its affiliates to address evolving terrorist threats. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has exclusive jurisdiction o… Continue Reading


May 21, 2013

Syria Transition Support Act Introduced by Menendez, Corker Passes Senate Foreign Relations Committee

Bill Provides for Lethal Aid and Training to Vetted Syrian Opposition, Sanctions Weapon Sales and Petroleum Sales to the Assad Regime, While Delivering Humanitarian Assistance and Planning for a Post-Assad Syria WASHINGTON, DC - The Syria Transition Support Act, bipartisan legislation introduced by U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Ranking Member Bob Corker (R-TN) passed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The legislation plans for a post-Assad Syri… Continue Reading


May 15, 2013

In Case You Missed It: Obama Administration Stonewalls American People on Corker Question about Secret U.S. Cash Payments to Afghan President

WASHINGTON - At a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing today, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman stonewalled the American people when asked by U.S. Senator Bob Corker, R-Tenn., ranking member of the committee, whether allegations of secret U.S. cash payments to Afghan President Hamid Karzai help prevent corruption in Afghanistan. "[D]oes delivering cash to an elected leader--does that help us root out corruption in that country," asked Corker. Sherman responde… Continue Reading


May 15, 2013

Menendez, Corker Introduce Syria Transition Support Act

Bill Provides for Lethal Weapons to Vetted Syrian Opposition, Sanctions Weapon Sales and Petroleum Sales to the Assad Regime, While Delivering Humanitarian Assistance and Planning for a Post-Assad Syria WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Ranking Member Bob Corker (R-TN) today introduced the Syria Transition Support Act, bipartisan legislation that plans for a post-Assad Syria by offering humanitarian assistance to the Syrian people, limi… Continue Reading


May 14, 2013

Corker Continues to Seek Explanation from President Obama for Secret U.S. Cash Payments to Afghan President

WASHINGTON - Following up on a May 2 letter to President Obama today, U.S. Senator Bob Corker, R-Tenn., ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, continued to seek an explanation for reports alleging the U.S. has made millions of dollars in secret cash payments to Afghan President Hamid Karzai over the past decade. Responding to press inquiries, President Karzai has said the payments are "the choice of the American government" and will continue following personal assurances from… Continue Reading


May 10, 2013

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Republicans Request Hearing on Benghazi to Address New Revelations on Obama Administration’s Response to Attacks, Lack of Accountability at State Department

WASHINGTON - In a letter today to Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez, D-N.J., committee Republicans including Bob Corker, R-Tenn.; James E. Risch, R-Idaho; Marco Rubio, R-Fla.; Ron Johnson, R-Wis.; Jeff Flake, R-Ariz.; John Barrasso, Wyo.; and Rand Paul, R-Ky., requested a hearing on the deadly Benghazi terrorist attacks to examine new revelations "regarding the level of security leading up to the attacks and how the State Department and the administration responded to the … Continue Reading


May 08, 2013

In Case You Missed It: Corker on MSNBC Questions Lack of Accountability for State Department Officials Involved in Benghazi Failures

WASHINGTON - Discussing the administration's response to the Benghazi attacks on MSNBC, U.S. Senator Bob Corker, R-Tenn., ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today said he wants to know why four State Department officials are still receiving full pay after being involved in security failures that contributed to the deadly attacks last year. "They're sitting at home with full pay. Americans all across our country are unemployed…There's been no accountability, and I j… Continue Reading


May 02, 2013

Corker Statement on President Obama’s USTR Nomination

WASHINGTON-U.S. Senator Bob Corker, R-Tenn., ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, made the following statement regarding President Obama's nomination of Mike Froman as U.S. Trade Representative. "Mike has been good to work with, and I look forward to talking with him further as I consider his nomination. I am hopeful that this is an indication that the administration is serious about advancing U.S. participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), U.S.-EU trade agreemen… Continue Reading


May 02, 2013

Corker to President Obama: Secret U.S. Cash Payments to Karzai Lack Accountability, Promote Corruption, and Break Trust with Taxpayers

WASHINGTON - In a letter to President Obama today, U.S. Senator Bob Corker, R-Tenn., ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, requested an explanation regarding recent reports alleging the U.S. has made millions of dollars in secret cash payments to Afghan President Hamid Karzai over the past decade. "Our support for the Karzai administration should have evolved long ago into regular and more sustainable efforts that are fully coordinated across the government and are calibr… Continue Reading


April 25, 2013

Corker: U.S. Assessment of Chemical Agent’s Use in Syria “Deeply Troubling”

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Bob Corker, R-Tenn., ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today said a U.S. intelligence assessment that chemical agents have been used in Syria is "deeply troubling." Corker was among a bipartisan group of senators yesterday who sent a letter to the president asking for an unclassified answer to whether "the Assad regime - or Syrian elements associated with, or supported by, the Assad regime - used chemical weapons in Syria since the current confl… Continue Reading


April 24, 2013

Bipartisan Group of Senators Introduce Organization of American States Revitalization and Reform Act of 2013

WASHINGTON, DC - A bipartisan group of senators introduced the Organization of American States (OAS) Revitalization and Reform Act of 2013. This legislation urges the implementation of certain management reforms at the OAS and requires the Secretary of State to identify a path toward the adoption of these reforms, while declaring the organization the primary multi-lateral diplomatic entity for regional disputes and promotion of democratic governance. The bill was introduced today by Foreign Rel… Continue Reading


April 24, 2013

New York Times (OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR): Dithering While Damascus Burns

By BOB CORKERPublished: April 23, 2013AS Syria slips further into chaos, America is acting hesitantly at a pivotal moment for our national interests and for those of our allies in the region.It appears that President Bashar al-Assad's fall is inevitable, but the question is how long it will take and how much suffering and bloodshed will occur before it happens. There is a looming second battle in Syria, as the opposition is divided along sectarian lines and between moderates and extremists. Simp… Continue Reading


April 18, 2013

Corker & Inhofe Foreign Policy – National Security (Rebuttal): Off to a Bad Start

BY SEN. JIM INHOFE, SEN. BOB CORKER | APRIL 18, 2013 In his April 8 article on FP, "Time to Face Facts," Secretary of State John Kerry observed how "in the Senate, we clawed our way to ratification [of the New START Treaty] with 71 votes, a big bipartisan statement that the arms control and nonproliferation consensus could hold together even in a polarized political culture." The secretary fails to mention, however, that the reason he, as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, was able t… Continue Reading


April 18, 2013

Corker: President’s FY 2014 State Department Budget Request “Reflects Sense of Uncertainty” on Planning for Syria and Unanswered Questions on Benghazi

WASHINGTON - During a hearing with Secretary of State John Kerry on President Obama's FY 2014 State Department budget request, U.S. Senator Bob Corker, R-Tenn., ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said the request "reflects a sense of uncertainty in key areas," including U.S. planning for the deteriorating conflict in Syria and "critical unanswered questions" regarding the response to leadership failures from last year's deadly attack at the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya.… Continue Reading

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