Sunday Rundown: No deal yet on financial overhaul; Corker to unveil executive clawback amendment; Granholm for SCOTUS?; McConnell: Not the right time for immigration reform
By Matt DeLong and T. Rees Shapiro
Here's a quick roundup of the Sunday talk shows:
NBC : "Meet the Press"
Senate Banking Committee chair Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) predicted the financial overhaul bill that bears his name will ultimately pass. However, both he and his GOP counterpart on the committee, Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), said a compromise has yet to be reached. Shelby said "we're closer than we've ever been" but it was unlikely a deal would be forged before Monday's vote.
Dodd weighed in on the immigration debate, calling the new Arizona law "outrageous." He added that "we've got to step up to the job" of passing immigration reform on a federal level. Shelby offered a "maybe" when asked if it was possible to pass an immigration bill this year.
ABC : "This Week"
Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), one of the finance overhaul bill's chief negotiators, said he plans to introduce an amendment to force executives and board members to return their compensation if their institution fails. "If a large entity like this has to go through this resolution ... I think that everything that the executive team and the board members have earned through this company over the last five years needs to be clawed back," Corker said. White House economic adviser Austan Goolsbee was careful not to endorse Corker's planned amendment, offering only that the White House is open to further negotiations on the bill. Echoing other Republicans making the Sunday show rounds, Corker said he expects GOP senators to mount a filibuster if no bipartisan agreement on the finance bill is reached before a scheduled procedural vote Monday evening.
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) said that in its current form, the bill does not go far enough to rein in institutions that become "too big to fail." He said he will unveil an amendment with Sen. Ted Kaufman (D-Del.) that would place size limits on institutions.
"Fox News Sunday"
The co-chairs of President Obama's debt reduction commission, former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.) and former Clinton White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles, appeared together and went to great lengths to avoid raising expectations or offering any specifics. Despite Simpson's colorful language -- he described his new job as "a suicide mission" and said he is "really a nut" because he doesn't approach everything with cynicism -- the pair declined to say much about what sort of debt-reduction strategies they might recommend aside from "everything is on the table." Among the things "on the table," they said, are tax increases, entitlement cuts, and even altering the recently passed health-care overhaul.
With immigration once again in the national spotlight thanks to a controversial new law in Arizona, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said, "I just don't think this is the right time to take up" immigration reform, citing the nation's high unemployment rate and border security as higher priorities. McConnell said that "our time would be better spent at the federal level on other issues." He declined to comment on the Arizona law, saying that he "hadn't studied it."
McConnell said that while he is hopeful that a bipartisan compromise will emerge on the financial regulation bill, he said none has yet been reached and "we will not go forward with this partisan bill tomorrow" without one. He reaffirmed that is is "highly unlikely" the GOP will filibuster President Obama's eventual Supreme Court nominee. On the Florida GOP Senate primary, McConnell said Gov. Charlie Crist, whom McConnell previously endorsed, would not have his support if he decides to mount a bid as an independent.
CNN: "State of the Union"
Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) said the recent move by Democrats to put immigration reform as the next order of business would bring to light a "very, very serious issue." But, he said, immigration reform is beside the point "when we haven't sealed the border." Chambliss said there are many other issues that should take precedence, including the budget outline, defense authorization, and the financial reform package.
Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D) said she is flattered to be considered on the short list of Supreme Court nominees for the soon to be vacated seat by Justice John Paul Stephens. Granholm said she believes the high court is replete with academics and federal court veterans and could benefit from someone with an outsider's perspective. While Granholm has plenty of experience leading Michigan, she said she understands she lacks the usual credentials for a Supreme Court seat. "Someone like me would be an unconventional nominee," she said.
Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-Calif.) said his biggest worry as the ranking member of the appropriations committee is the deficit, which could soon reach $13 trillion. He said the government should immediately take steps to bring the number down. He said the government should closely examine all federal aid programs, and look across the board for programs to eliminate, including defense contracts, such as the F-22 jet fighter, and some public housing projects. He said the government could learn from its mistakes and noted that it would have been wise to appropriate unused stimulus dollars toward eliminating the deficit.
CBS: "Face the Nation"
White House economic adviser Larry Summers said the president's foremost concern with new financial regulation is that "we must end too big to fail." Summers said that attitude created the current banking crisis and companies that make mistakes should pay the consequences, not the American people with costly bailouts.
April 25, 2010; 2:07 PM ET
Categories: 44 The Obama Presidency
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