Ranking Member's Press

July 08, 2013

Corker Makes Fourth Trip to Afghanistan as U.S. Looks to Transition

WASHINGTON - Following the recent transfer of lead security responsibility in Afghanistan from the U.S.-led NATO coalition to Afghan Security Forces, U.S. Senator Bob Corker, R-Tenn., ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee, made his fourth trip to Afghanistan and Pakistan over the weekend to evaluate U.S. policy in the region and to assess progress toward the planned reduction in U.S. forces in December 2014. Corker's trip included meetings with senior government and business officia… Continue Reading


July 03, 2013

Corker Statement on Egypt

WASHINGTON - U. S. Senator Bob Corker, R-Tenn., ranking member on the Foreign Relations Committee, today made the following statement on the situation in Egypt. "The U.S. should support the aspirations of the Egyptian people seeking a peaceful, secure, and inclusive government. In determining the future of U.S. assistance, the administration should look at the regional picture with our vital national security interests in mind. Our long-standing cooperation with Egypt, which is essential for st… Continue Reading


June 27, 2013

Corker: Nominee for State Department Inspector General Long Overdue

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Bob Corker, R-Tenn., ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee, said the nomination today of a full-time Inspector General at the U.S. State Department is long overdue. President Barack Obama nominated Steve A. Linick as State Department Inspector General, filling a 5-year vacancy. "A full time, independent watchdog at the State Department is essential to protect the interest of taxpayers. While this nomination is long overdue, I appreciate the president respon… Continue Reading


June 19, 2013

Corker: Further Reduction of U.S. Nuclear Arsenal Without Modernization First Could Amount to “Unilateral Disarmament”

WASHINGTON - Responding to President Barack Obama's speech in Berlin signaling further reduction of U.S. nuclear forces, U.S. Senator Bob Corker, R-Tenn., ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee, today said any additional limitations of the U.S. nuclear arsenal without first fulfilling commitments to modernization of existing forces could amount to "unilateral disarmament." On Tuesday, Secretary of State John Kerry called Senator Corker and assured him that any further reductions woul… Continue Reading


June 17, 2013

Corker Places Hold on Portion of Afghanistan Funding Until Obama Administration Provides Rationale for Alleged U.S. Cash Payments to Karzai

WASHINGTON - In a fourth letter to the Obama administration seeking a rationale for alleged U.S. cash payments to Afghan President Hamid Karzai, U.S. Senator Bob Corker, R-Tenn., ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee, today announced a hold on $75 million in U.S. government funding for Afghanistan "until such time as I receive sufficient information on these matters and sufficient assurances that there is a process in place to ensure our policy towards governance in Afghanistan is co… Continue Reading


June 13, 2013

Corker Statement on Obama Administration’s Confirmation of Assad Regime’s Use of Chemical Weapons in Syria

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Bob Corker, R-Tenn., ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee, made the following statement regarding the Obama administration's confirmation of chemical weapons use in Syria. "Official confirmation of Assad's use of chemical weapons heightens the urgency for the U.S. to provide the kind of decisive support, including arms and training, to vetted Syrian opposition groups as soon as possible. While some sources are reporting that a decision may have been made, … Continue Reading


June 13, 2013

Corker Urges Obama Administration to Nominate Full-Time IG at State Department to Provide Accountability After 5-Year Vacancy

WASHINGTON - In a letter to President Barack Obama on Monday, U.S. Senator Bob Corker, R-Tenn., ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee, called for the nomination of permanent Inspectors General at the State Department and USAID to provide accountability and prevent wasteful spending at both agencies. On Monday a nomination was made for a permanent IG at USAID, but the position remains vacant at the State Department. The letter to the president was also signed by Foreign Relations Comm… Continue Reading


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

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