Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Senators Corker and Flake castigate Trump but vote with him anyway

Two Senators have announced their intention not to seek reelection: Bob Corker (Tennessee) and Jeff Flake (Arizona). Both are now publicly critical of (read condemning, damning) President Trump as someone to be reviled for character flaws, not to be trusted, and generally unfit for office. I agree, but there are grounds to withhold enthusiasm for what these two are doing. Consider that Corker was a big supporter of Trump’s candidacy and Flake has a voting record that almost perfectly aligns with Trump’s positions. Given the opportunity to do something concete about Trump after he took office, both Corker and Flake took a pass.

Now there is another side to this and that is that both Corker and Flake intend to serve out their present terms speaking out against Trumpism. AZ Blue Meanie takes a harsh view of what Flake is doing in Sen. Jeff Flake surrenders rather than fight against ‘Trumpism’. Scriber thinks the jury is still out and that the next 14 months will give us evidence on which to judge Corker and Flake. They need to speak out forcefully, but more important, they need to engage in active obstruction. And there is plenty going on in the administration worth obstructing. But early returns are not promising.

Here’s an example. The NY Times reports that the Consumer Bureau Loses Fight to Allow More Class-Action Suits.

Senate Republicans voted on Tuesday to strike down a sweeping new rule that would have allowed millions of Americans to band together in class-action lawsuits against financial institutions.

The overturning of the rule, with Vice President Mike Pence breaking a 50-to–50 tie, will further loosen regulation of Wall Street as the Trump administration and Republicans move to roll back Obama-era policies enacted in the wake of the 2008 economic crisis. By defeating the rule, Republicans are dismantling a major effort of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the watchdog created by Congress in the aftermath of the mortgage mess. [Read more about the rule in the Times’ report.]

Senators Corker and Flake (and McCain, BTW) voted along with Trump on this one. So as far as I can tell, the Republicans keep lining up with Trump when it comes to letting predatory businesses dump on the consumers. And Corker and Flake, despite their words, are right behind Trump’s rump when it comes to the votes.

FYI: the AZBlueMeanie reprints Flake’s speech on the floor of the Senate.

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