(CNN) – Now that Chuck Hagel has been nominated for defense secretary, the former Republican senator from Nebraska faces what many expect to be an uphill battle for confirmation in the Senate.
Hagel took quite a pounding from some senators and independent groups on both sides of the aisle in the days before last week's announcement, with many of them taking issue with some of Hagel's positions and comments dealing with Iran, Iraq and Israel in particular.
(CNN) - Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee sought to assure Americans on Sunday over the looming fiscal cliff, expressing full confidence that most people won't start off the new year with new taxes.
In an interview on CNN, the Republican senator also predicted the income threshold for tax increases will be at least $500,000 per year, rather than President Barack Obama's proposal of $250,000.
(CNN) – Republicans and Democrats alike voiced confidence Sunday that a deal could be struck to avoid tumbling over the so-called "fiscal cliff," though specifics on such a deal remained vague.
The two sides have until the end of the year to negotiate a budget-cutting deal to prevent middle class tax cuts from expiring and massive across-the-board budget cuts from taking effect. Democrats have largely favored raising taxes on wealthy Americans, while Republicans insist the solution comes in cutting federal spending.
Washington (CNN) - Sen. Bob Corker said Thursday that his daughter is fine but "really sore" after being pulled from her car and thrown to the ground in a carjacking in the nation's capital Wednesday night.
The Tennessee Republican said his 22-year-old daughter, Julia, stopped the family's 2005 Chevy Tahoe not far from their apartment - just nine blocks from the U.S. Capitol building - to help someone she thought needed directions.
"A gentleman appeared, opened the door, grabbed her by the neck," the senator said. "She kicked to try to get away ... and he threw her on the pavement and drove away."
Corker credited the vehicle's OnStar system with helping to locate it, and the suspects were taken into custody a short time later in a parking lot in Seat Pleasant, Maryland.
"It's pretty incredible how quickly they were able to apprehend" the suspects, the senator said. The two people in the car were taken into custody by police in Seat Pleasant after OnStar determined their exact location and showed that the vehicle was not moving, Corker explained.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Republican Sen. Bob Corker suggested Wednesday that when it comes to health care, Canada and France have a "parasitic relationship" towards the United States.
During a hearing of the Special Committee on Aging, the Tennessee Republican told Canada's former Public Health Minister, Dr. Carolyn Bennett, that her country is "living off of us" because they set lower prices for health care and "all the innovation, all the technology breakthroughs just about take place in our country and we have to pay for it."
"It is not really our country so much is the problem, it's sort of the parasitic relationship that Canada, and France, and other countries have towards us," Corker said. "...You benefit from us, and we pay for that. And I resent that, and I want to figure out a way to solve that."
Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tennessee, said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union, that the revelation late last week by the United States of a previously undisclosed Iranian nuclear facility set the stage for tough and possibly productive discussions between the U.S., Iran, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, and China set to begin October 1.
“I think the P-5-plus-1 meeting that is set up this week is the right venue,” the Tennessee Republican told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King, “I think the table couldn't be set better for that meeting. . . . I think we should be very tough on them.
“The fact is, the world community is now, I think, more united than ever to confront Iran. And this is information we've had for some time. I think making it public this week and Iran actually coming forward and saying that it was true certainly turns the table. And I think we have a tremendous opportunity for the first time in a long time for a breakthrough.”
Corker was agreeing with Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Indiana, a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, who also said Sunday the United States should take a tough approach with Iran.
On the eve of talks, Bayh advocated for “more sticks, frankly, at this moment than carrots” in dealing with Iran.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The United States is rushing emergency aid to Pakistan - an initial $5 million - to help people uprooted by the fighting against extremists, according to the State Department.
The U.S. had urged the Pakistanis to launch the military action that in recent days has driven hundreds of thousands of people from their villages.
Meanwhile, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee took a longer-term view Tuesday and discussed how the United States might triple aid to Pakistan over the next five years.
The State Department said Tuesday the U.S. Embassy in Pakistan and officials of the U.S. Agency for International Development were evaluating the needs of civilians fleeing the Swat valley and surrounding regions in northwest Pakistan.
"We are of course very concerned about the well-being of civilians who are fleeing the fighting in the area," State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said. "And we have personnel, USAID personnel, on the ground in Pakistan, not in the Swat valley, but in Pakistan, who are directing assistance to help them."
"We've provided a substantial amount of money through the International Organization for Migration," Kelly said at his daily briefing in Washington. "This is primarily to provide tents, provide shelter and emergency relief supplies, food and medicine to the affected populations."
Kelly said the $5 million was just an initial payment.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker will headline the South Carolina Republican Party’s annual Silver Elephant Banquet in May, a state party official tells CNN.
The speaking slot offers the senator a chance to impress the South Carolina GOP establishment at the party’s biggest fundraiser of the year, and because of the state’s crucial role in the presidential nominating process, Corker’s visit could spark chatter about his future political aspirations.
Past speakers at the event have included Mike Pence, George Allen, John McCain, Newt Gingrich and Ronald Reagan. The banquet was also the setting for two Republican presidential primary debates in 1996 and 2000.
Although Corker isn’t currently thought to have ambitions beyond the Senate, he is regarded as a rising star within the Republican caucus and won plaudits on both sides of the aisle last December for crafting an alternative to President Bush’s plan to bail out the auto industry.
South Carolina GOP chairman Katon Dawson described Corker - the former mayor of Chattanooga who came to the Senate in 2006 after a tough campaign against Democrat Harold Ford, Jr. - as “a conservative that offers common sense solutions to our nation’s toughest challenges.”
The party will make the announcement on Wednesday.
The South Carolina GOP had planned to invite Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to speak at the dinner, according to a state Republican operative familiar with the plans, but discussions with Palin’s political advisers on the East Coast ended after the governor’s staff in Alaska “shot it down.”
(CNN) - Bankruptcy for the nation's largest auto companies should not be an option, Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow told CNN Sunday.
In an interview with CNN's John King on State of The Union, the Michigan Democrat said she supports the Obama administration's commitment to the auto industry as it tries to formulate a viable business plan to move forward.
"I do not support bankruptcy, certainly as the first, second, or third options," Stabenow said. "I am still very concerned, because… there are 600,000 retirees whose pensions, by the way, would become a federal liability in the worst case scenario in a bankruptcy."
"There are tens of billions of dollars, I've heard upwards of $80 billion in federal requirements, federal dollars that would be needed potentially, if they went into bankruptcy," she continued. It certainly is not my first option. And I know that it's not the first option of the administration."
But Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tennessee, also appearing on CNN's State of the Union, said bankruptcy is a possibility for the beleaguered auto companies.
"I do disagree with the government just coming in and taking over a company like this. I think that was heavy-handed," Corker said in reference to the administration's request last week that former GM CEO Rick Wagoner resign his post. "I think that is something that we'll look back on in several years and be very concerned about but I hope they are successful."
In an interview that appeared on CNN's State of The Union earlier Sunday, GM's new CEO Fritz Henderson suggested bankruptcy remains a possibility for his struggling company.
"[Bankruptcy] may very well be the best solution for the company," he said.