Corker Concerned about Afghan Leadership, Financial Reform

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has gotten a string of bad reviews in recent months from members of Congress, including Tennessee Senator Bob Corker. He’s described the Afghan leader as “cavalier” and went a step further talking in Nashville Monday.

As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Corker has met with Karzai both in the U.S. and in Kabul. Senator Corker says he’s concerned.

“I know President Karzai. I don’t trust him.”

Corker says Karzai’s leadership is concerning, especially considering the continued American casualties, including one Tennessean who died over the weekend.

In comments to the Downtown Rotary Club, Corker also characterized the Afghan war as a paradox. He says while the U.S. military is fighting the Taliban, he says it’s believed the CIA is extending olive branches to the extremist group to keep it out of neighboring Pakistan.

Corker Finding New Reasons to Dislike Consumer Protection Agency

Corker is part of the conference committee working out differences in versions passed by the House and Senate. Corker says right now, the consumer protection agency’s rules could be imposed on small banks by individual states.

Community banks with less than $10 billion in assets are somewhat removed from the direct oversight of the new consumer protection agency. But Senator Corker says there’s no longer any shielding because a state’s attorney general can now enforce the stiffer regulations.

“We’re going to turn them loose to be able to sue financial institutions, community banks and others against those rules that are created by an agency that has no check and balance. So I’m concerned about that. I think that’s over the line.”

Corker fears some attorneys general may use their new power to score political points. He says the consumer protection agency, itself, could write rules that do harm, depending on who is in charge. In Corker’s words, if headed by a “zealot,” the consumer protection agency could damage the economy.

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