Tennessee Campaign For Liberty
18Jul/120

Senator Bob Corker’s Big-Government Voting Record

Minimum Wage.
The minimum wage bill (H.R. 2) would raise the federal minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25 an hour over the course of two years. The bill would also provide $8.3 billion in small-business tax incentives. The House passed its version of H.R. 2 on January 10. The Senate passed the minimum-wage increase by a vote of 94-3 (Roll Call 42) on February 1, 2007. It is unconstitutional to prohibit citizens from working for less than a government-set wage.
Bob Corker voted YES.

 

COPS Funding.
Joseph Biden (D-Del.) offered an amendment to the fiscal 2008 budget resolution (Senate Concurrent Resolution 21) that would authorize a $1.2 billion increase in federal funds to support the Community-Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program. The Senate passed the Bide amendment by a vote of 65-33 (Roll Call 110) on March 23, 2007. Providing federal aid to local law enforcement programs is not only unconstitutional, but it also further federalizes the police system.
Bob Corker voted YES.

 

Guest-worker Program.
Senator Byron L. Dorgan (D-N.D.) introduced an amendment to strike the guest-worker provision of Ted Kennedy’s substitute amendment (S. Amdt. #1150) for the immigration reform bill of 2007 (S. 1348). Kennedy’s so-called guest-worker provision would create a renewable two-year guest-worker program, issue a guest-worker visa, and set an adjustable annual cap on the number of guest workers permitted in this country. The Dorgan amendment was rejected by a vote of 31-64 (Roll Call 174) on May 22, 2007. The guest-worker program would constitute a large increase in legal immigration for our country, which would ultimately displace more American workers from their jobs and depress wages.
Bob Corker voted NO.

 

SCHIP.
H.R. 976 would reauthorize the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) to the amount of $60.2 billion for five years. The proposed amount would expand the program by $35.2 billion and cover an addition 6.1 million children. The Senate passed H.R. 976 on August 2, 2007, by a vote of 68-31 (Roll Call 307). Taxpayer-financed federal health insurance is unconstitutional. After successful passage of H.R. 976 in both the House and Senate, President Bush vetoed the measure on October 3, 2007.
Bob Corker voted YES. 

 

Protect America Act.
The Protect America Act (S. 1927) would amend the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to allow warrantless electronic eavesdropping on communications where at least one individual is based outside of the United States. The Senate passed S. 1927 on August 3, 2007, by a vote of 60-28 (Roll Call 309). Warrantless surveillance of American citizens is a violation of the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition “against unreasonable searches and seizures.”
Bob Corker voted YES. 

 

UN “Peacekeeping” Increase.
During consideration of the foreign-aid appropriations bill (H.R. 2764), Senator John Ensign (R- Nev.) introduced an amendment to strike a provision in H.R. 2764 that would increase the limit on the U.S. share of UN “peacekeeping” operations from 25 percent to 27.1 percent. The Senate rejected the Ensign amendment to H.R. 2764 on September 6, 2007, by a vote of 30-63 (Roll Call 317). The United States should not be funding UN “peacekeeping” period — let alone increasing the amount.
Bob Corker voted NO.

 

Debt Limit Increase.
This bill (House Joint Resolution 43) would increase the national debt limit to an astronomical $9.8 trillion, an $850 billion increase. This increase would be the fifth time the national debt was raised since 2002, representing about a $3 trillion increase in just the last five years. The Senate passed House Joint Resolution 43 on September 27, 2007, by a vote of 53-42 (Roll Call 354). Raising the public debt limit by $850 billion facilitates continued, gross fiscal irresponsibility.
Bob Corker voted YES. 

 

Amtrak Reauthorization.
This bill (S. 294) would authorize $11.4 billion for Amtrak funding over the next six years. That amount would include monies for operating subsidies ($3.3 billion) and capital grants ($4.9 billion). If passed, states would be required to provide a 20 percent match of funds. Senator Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) opposed the reauthorization of federal funds to Amtrak. According to DeMint, Amtrak routes are so unprofitable that each ticket is federally subsidized by hundreds of dollars. Amtrak was created in 1970 and has been operating under annual federal appropriation funds since 2002. The Senate passed S. 294 on October 30, 2007, by a vote of 70-22 (Roll Call 400). Spending billions of tax dollars for federal grants and subsidies for Amtrak transportation is unconstitutional.
Bob Corker voted YES.

 

Mukasey Confirmation.
When Michael Mukasey testified at his confirmation hearings for attorney general, he repeatedly refused to say that waterboarding and other harsh interrogation techniques reportedly practiced by the CIA constituted torture and were therefore illegal. (Waterboarding is a form of controlled drowning.) He also stated, incredibly, that the president could operate outside laws passed by Congress if “what goes outside the statute lies within the authority of the president to defend the country.” The Senate confirmed Michael Mukasey as U.S. attorney general on November 8, 2007, by a vote of 53-40 (Roll Call 407). In so doing, the U.S. Senate demonstrated its willingness to tolerate torture — which is anathema to American values — and its willingness to allow the president to trump laws passed by Congress in the name of national security.
Bob Corker voted YES. 

 

Children’s Health Insurance.
H.R. 3963, the five-year, $60 billion SCHIP Extension bill, passed 64-30 on November 1, 2007 (Roll Call 403) and then went to the president, who vetoed it. (H.R. 3963, a bill to reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program, was rejected in the House, 260-152 on January 23, 2008 (Roll Call 22) when the House failed to get the necessary two-thirds majority of those present to override President Bush’s veto. The bill would have authorized the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) at nearly $60 billion over five years, expanding the program by $35 billion. It also would have put an additional tax on cigarette manufacturers, would have undermined private insurance plans, and would have pushed us further down the slippery slope to socialized medicine. ) The Constitution does not authorize federal involvement in healthcare, even for children.
Bob Corker voted YES. 

 

Head Start.
H.R. 1429, a bill to reauthorize the Head Start program through 2012, was adopted 95-0 on November 14, 2007 (Roll Call 409). (Head Start provides educational activities and social services for children up to age five from low-income families. The program received $6.9 billion in fiscal year 2007. $7 billion was authorized in the fiscal 2008 omnibus bill, but H.R. 1429 increased funding to $7.4 billion for fiscal 2008, $7.7 billion for 2009, and $8 billion for 2010. The income level at which families are eligible to participate was raised from 100 percent of the poverty level to 130 percent ($26,728 for a family of four). Some members opposed the bill because Head Start grants will not be allowed to faith-based organizations that hire employees on the basis of religious preference.) Having been adopted in both the House and the Senate, this legislation was cleared for President Bush, who signed it into law. Federalized educational system is an unconstitutional and wasteful bureaucracy. (there were no “nays”)
Bob Corker voted YES.  

 

Peru Free Trade Agreement.
The Peru Free Trade Agreement (H.R. 3688) is another in a series of free-trade agreements to transfer the power to regulate trade (and other powers as well) to regional arrangements. A prime example is the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). However, as noted by the House Ways and Means Committee report on H.R. 3688, the Peru Free Trade Agreement is the first U.S. FTA to include “in its core text fully enforceable commitments by the Parties to adopt, maintain, and enforce basic international labor standards, as stated in the 1988 ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work.” The ILO, or International Labor Organization, is a UN agency. The Senate passed the Peru Free Trade Agreement on December 4, 2007 by a vote of 77-18 (Roll Call 413). So-called free trade arrangements threaten our national independence and harm our economy.
Bob Corker voted YES.

 

Warrantless Searches.
S. 2248, the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, passed 68-29 on February 12, 2008 (Roll Call 20). The bill would amend the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to effectively give the executive branch of the federal government a blank check to eavesdrop on telephone calls and e-mail messages between people in foreign countries and those in the United States. The bill includes retroactive immunity for telecommunications companies that have collaborated with federal agencies in the warrantless surveillance of American citizens. Warrantless wiretaps are a violation of the Fourth Amendment, which protects Americans against unreasonable searches and seizures, and requires that any searches be conducted only upon issuance of a warrant under conditions of probable cause. Moreover, Article I, Section 9 of the Constitution forbids “ex post facto laws” - laws having a retroactive effect.
Bob Corker voted YES.

 

Farm Bill.
The version of the five year, $289 billion farm bill is considered here. (H.R. 2419 would authorize the nation’s farm programs for the next five years, including crop subsidies and nutrition programs. The final version of this legislation worked out by House and Senate conferees (known as a conference report) provides $289 billion for these programs, including a $10.4 billion boost in spending for nutrition programs such as food stamps.) The Senate passed the final version of H.R. 2419 by a vote of 81-15 (Roll Call 130) on May 15, 2008. Federal aid to farmers and federal food aid to individuals are not authorized by the Constitution.
Bob Corker voted YES.

 

Farm Bill (Veto Override).
H.R. 6124 would authorize the nation’s farm programs for the next five years, including crop subsidies and nutrition programs. The final version of the legislation provides $289 billion for these programs, including a $10.4 billion boost in spending for nutrition programs such as food stamps.  After this five-year, $289 billion farm bill was vetoed by President Bush, the Senate passed the bill over the president’s veto on June 18, 2008 by a vote of 80-14 (Roll Call 151). A two thirds majority vote is required to override a presidential veto. Federal aid to farmers and federal food aid to individuals are not authorized by the Constitution.
Bob Corker voted YES.

 

Funds for War, Welfare, Etc.
The Supplemental Appropriations bill (H.R. 2642) was agreed to 92-2 (Roll Call 162) on June 26, 2008. Such bills fund unforeseen needs after an annual budget has been approved. However, regular use of emergency supplemental bills to pay for never-ending wars, domestic welfare, and infrastructure programs has made the annual budget a misleading indicator of spending intentions. This $186.5 billion measure includes $161.8 billion of additional funding for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The remaining $24.7 billion is for domestic programs including tornado, flood, and hurricane relief efforts. It would also expand veterans’ education benefits, expand unemployment benefits, and delay shifting some Medicaid costs to the states. Congress continues to fund a war it never authorized under Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution. Also, the federal government is unconstitutionally involved as an individual and corporate insurer at taxpayer expense.
Bob Corker voted YES.

 

Warrantless Searches.
H.R. 6304, the bill to revamp the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), would allow warrantless electronic surveillance, including monitoring telephone conversations and e-mails, of foreign targets, including those communicating with American citizens in the United States. The final version of the bill would not explicitly grant immunity to telecommunications companies that have assisted President Bush’s warrantless surveillance program. But it would require courts to dismiss lawsuits against such companies if there is “substantial evidence” they were insured in writing the program was legal and authorized by the president. The provision would almost certainly result in the dismissal of the lawsuits. The Senate passed H.R. 6304 on July 9, 2008 by a vote of 69-28 (Roll Call 168). Warrantless searches are a violation of the Fourth Amendment, which protects Americans against unreasonable searches and seizures, and requires that any searches be conducted only upon issuance of a warrant under conditions of probable cause. Moreover, Article I, Section 9 of the Constitution forbids “ex post facto laws” laws having a retroactive effect.
Bob Corker voted YES.

 

Global HIV/AIDS Program.
This legislation (H.R. 5501) to authorize $48 billion to fight AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria overseas.  (The bill would authorize $48 billion for fiscal 2009 through 2013 to combat AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis overseas. Currently one third of the funding for HIV prevention is required to go to abstinence education. The bill would change that allocation to balance funding between condom, fidelity, and abstinence programs. It would also authorize $2 billion to fund programs for American Indian health, clean water, and law enforcement.) The Senate passed H.R. 5501 on July 16, 2008 by a vote of 80-16 (Roll Call 182). We have assigned pluses to the “nays” because foreign aid is unconstitutional.
Bob Corker voted YES.

 

Bailout Bill.
The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (H.R. 1424) passed 74-25 (Roll Call 213) on October 1, 2008. (This bill authorizes the Treasury Department to use $700 billion of taxpayer money to purchase troubled mortgage-related securities from banks and other financial-related institutions, on terms set by the Treasury Secretary, who now has authority to manage and sell those assets. The bailout plan also expands FDIC protection from $100,000 to $250,000 per bank account, extends dozens of expiring tax provisions, expands incentives for renewable energy, provides a one-year adjustment to exempt millions of Americans from the alternative minimum tax, and requires health insurers who provide mental-health coverage to put mental-health benefits on par with other medical benefits.) The bill establishes an unconstitutional merger of government with big business — in other words, fascism — and greatly increases the national debt and monetary inflation by forcing taxpayers to pay the price for the failures of private financial institutions.
Bob Corker voted YES.

 

SCHIP.
H.R. 2 would reauthorize the “State Children’s Health Insurance Program,” commonly referred to as SCHIP, for over four and a half years and increase the funding for the program by $32.8 billion. (H.R. 2 would reauthorize the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, commonly referred to as SCHIP, for over four and a half years and increase the funding for the program by $32.8 billion. SCHIP is designed to provide health insurance to children of families whose incomes are up to four times above the poverty level (and therefore would have too much income to qualify for Medicaid), yet would have little income to buy private insurance. Often SCHIP crowds out private insurance: the Congressional Budget Office found that between 25 and 50 percent of children who enroll in SCHIP dropped their private insurance to get “free care.” Because SCHIP, like Medicaid and Medicare, pays doctors and hospitals only a fraction of the actual cost of care, the unfunded costs get passed to holders of private insurance. Additionally, SCHIP would apply to 400,000 to 600,000 children of legal immigrants whose sponsors had agreed to cover the children’s healthcare needs for at least five years after arriving to the United States. ) The Senate passed H.R. 2 on January 29, 2009, by a vote of 66-32 (Roll Call 31). Federal healthcare programs are unconstitutional and would likely lower the quality of healthcare.
Bob Corker voted YES.

 

IMF Funding.
During consideration of the Fiscal 2009 Supplemental bill (H.R. 2346), Senator Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) offered an amendment to delete $5 billion provided by the bill for the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The IMF is an adjunct of the United Nations and grants foreign aid to qualifying countries. The Senate rejected the DeMint amendment on May 21, 2009, by a vote of 30-64 (Roll Call 201). Foreign aid is unconstitutional, and this is deficit spending.
Bob Corker voted NO against the amendment to delete funding.

 

Fiscal 2009 Supplemental Appropriations.
The Senate version of the Fiscal 2009 Supplemental Appropriations bill (H.R. 2346) would provide an additional $91.3 billion in “emergency” funding for the current fiscal year over and above the regular appropriations. The spending would include $73 billion for the Defense Department (including the ongoing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan), $1.5 billion to address potential pandemic flu, and $5 billion for the International Monetary Fund, a UN agency that lends to qualifying countries. The Senate passed H.R. 2346 on May 21, 2009, by a vote of 86-3 (Roll Call 202). The spending is over and above what the federal government had already budgeted, Congress never declared war against Iraq and Afghanistan, and some of the spending (e.g., foreign aid) is unconstitutional.
Bob Corker voted YES.

 

Supplemental Appropriations.
The final version (conference report) of the fiscal 2009 supplemental appropriations bill (H.R. 2346), would provide $105.9 in “emergency” funding. (This final version (conference report) of the fiscal 2009 supplemental appropriations bill (H.R. 2346) would provide an additional $105.9 billion in so-called emergency funds over and above the regular appropriations for 2009. This outrageous supplemental package would include $79.9 billion for defense funding (including for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan), $10.4 billion for foreign aid programs, $7.7 billion to address the national flu scare, and $5 billion for International Monetary Fund activities. This supplemental bill would also include $1 billion for the Cash for Clunkers program. A day prior to the House vote, Representative Ron Paul (R-Texas) urged his fellow lawmakers to reject the bill, stating, “I continue to believe that the best way to for discretionary spending for the two departments and their related agencies, a 25-percent increase from fiscal 2009 levels. The bill would provide $1.5 billion in federal grants for Amtrak and $18.2 billion for the Section 8 Tenant-based Rental Assistance program.) The Senate adopted the conference report (thus sending it to the President) on June 18, 2009 by a vote of 91-5 (Roll Call 210). The spending is over and above what the federal government had already budgeted, the United States never declared war against Iraq and Afghanistan, and some of the spending (e.g., Cash for Clunkers and foreign aid) is unconstitutional.
Bob Corker voted YES.

 

Cash for Clunkers Funding.
H.R. 3435 would authorize an additional $2 billion for the “Cash for Clunkers” vehicle trade-in program. Under the “Cash for Clunkers” program, consumers would trade in their old cars for more fuel efficient vehicles. (Congress passed the original Cash For Clunkers in June (see our July 20, 2009 issue). After running out of funds almost immediately, Congress quickly introduced yet another bill (H.R. 3435) that would provide an additional $2 billion for the “Cash for Clunkers” program. Under the program consumers were offered rebates of up to $4,500 if they traded in their old cars for more fuel-efficient ones. The vehicles traded in were destroyed, meaning cars not ready for the junkyard would be taken off the road, reducing the stock o
used vehicles and inflating the prices of used cars.) The Senate passed H.R. 3435 on August 6, 2009 by a vote of 60-37 (Roll Call 270). The federal government should not be subsidizing the car industry and because it is unconstitutional and wasteful.
Bob Corker voted YES.

 

Energy-Water Appropriations.
The final version (conference report) of this 2010 spending bill (H.R. 3183) to appropriate $34 billion for energy and water projects ( The final version (conference report) of H.R. 3183 would appropriate $34 billion in fiscal 2010 for energy and water projects. The funds would provide $27.1 billion for the Energy Department, $5.4 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers, and $1.1 billion for the Interior Department’s Bureau of Reclamation.). The Senate adopted the conference report (thus sending it to the President) on October 15, 2009 by a vote of 80-17 (Roll Call 322). The Department of Energy is not authorized by the Constitution.
Bob Corker voted YES.

 

Bernanke Confirmation.
On January 28, 2010, the Senate voted 70 to 30 to confirm Ben Bernanke to a second four-year term as Federal Reserve Chairman (Roll Call 16). With Bernanke at the helm, the Fed, which can create money out of thin air, has pumped trillions of newly created fiat (unbacked) dollars into the economy, even though this reckless expansion of the money supply (inflation) will diminish the value of the dollar and further hurt the economy in the long run. Bernanke’s Fed has also kept interest rates artificially low, encouraging excessive borrowing and malinvestments. And Bernanke has called for the Fed — which already possesses the power to create booms and busts through its control of the money supply and interest rates — to be given new powers to manage the financial sector. Bernanke is accountable for the economic havoc at the Fed; which is a central bank that should not even exist.
Bob Corker voted YES.

 

Audit the Fed.
During consideration of the financial regulatory reform bill (S. 3217), Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) offered an amendment to audit the Federal Reserve. The Senate rejected the Vitter amendment on May 11, 2010 by a vote of 37-62 (Roll Call 138), after unanimously adopting a watered-down audit-the-Fed amendment offered by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) Sanders had much earlier introduced legislation in the Senate that mirrored the audit-the-Fed legislation in the House championed by Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas). When Sanders caved and offered his watered-down amendment, Vitter stepped in and offered an amendment for a full Fed audit along the lines of Paul’s (and Sanders’ earlier) proposal. The Sanders amendment allows for a onetime audit of the Fed’s emergency actions taken in response to the 2008 financial crisis. However, unlike the Vitter amendment, the Sanders amendment (in Paul’s words) “exempts monetary policy decisions, discount window operations, and agreements with foreign central banks from [GAO] audit.” The vote on the Vitter amendment is used here to rate Senators on their position on auditing the Fed.
The American people need to know what the Fed is doing and because this may represent a first step in eliminating the unconstitutional Federal Reserve.
Bob Corker voted NO.

 

Authority for Military Action.
During consideration of a small-business bill (S. 493), Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) moved to send the bill to the Foreign Relations Committee with instructions to insert his amendment expressing the sense of the Senate that “the President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.” Paul’s amendment was in response to President Obama undertaking U.S. military action in Libya without congressional authorization. The Senate tabled (killed) Rand Paul’s motion on April 5, 2011 by a vote of 90 to 10 (Roll Call 50). The U.S. Constitution assigns to Congress the power “to declare war.”
Bob Corker voted YES  ( To Table or Kill the bill)

 

Patriot Act (Firearms Purchase Records).
During consideration of the Patriot Act extension bill (S. 990), Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who opposes the Patriot Act on constitutional grounds, offered an amendment that would have banned the use of Patriot Act searches for American citizens’ firearms records without the Fourth Amendment’s protections of probable cause, warrants, and particularity. Gun Owners of America, which supported this amendment, warned: “Without Paul’s exemption, it is possible that the BATFE could go to a secret (FISA) court, and, in a one-party (ex parte) proceeding, obtain an order to produce every 4473 [firearms transaction record] in the country, ostensibly because a ‘terrorism investigation’ requires it. If such an action were taken, the government would have a list of every gun buyer in the country going back decades.” The Senate tabled (killed) Rand Paul’s amendment on May 26, 2011 by a vote of 85 to 10 (Roll Call 82). Paul’s amendment would have prevented the Patriot Act from being used to violate the rights of gun owners.
Bob Corker voted YES  ( To Table or Kill the bill)

 

Patriot Act Extension.
This legislation (S. 990) extended for four years three provisions of the Patriot Act that were set to expire: the “roving wiretap” provision that allows the federal government to wiretap any number of a suspect’s telephone/Internet connections without specifying what they will find or how many connections will be tapped; the “financial records” provision that allows the feds to seize “any tangible thing” that has “relevance” to an investigation; and the “lone wolf” provision that allows spying on non-U.S. citizens without a warrant. These provisions violate the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which requires that no warrants be issued “but upon probable cause” (a much higher standard than “relevance”), and that warrants must contain language “particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” The Patriot Act even allows the FBI to issue warrants called “National Security Letters” without going to a judge, though this provision was not set to expire and therefore was not part of this legislation.  The Senate passed S. 990 on May 26, 2011 by a vote of 72 to 23 (Roll Call 84). The extended provisions, and the Patriot Act as a whole, violate the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Bob Corker voted YES 

 

* All Votes, data and Comments, compiled from the Conservative Index and Freedom Index issues of  The New American Magazine via Mickey White's blog

 

Sadly radio talk show host Dave Ramsey just endorsed Senator Bob Corker: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTQHfJDS4Qg