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Mr. CORKER. Mr. President, I support the budget point of order that has been raised, but let me just make a point. I had an amendment that would have kept this budget point of order from being a problem. The reason we are where we are is that both Republicans and Democrats had amendments to this bill, and the ones we put forth would have solved this budget point of order, but because my amendment has not been heard, the Senator from Pennsylvania has raised this budget point of order, and the fact is that I hope it will be sustained. But what is the shame of all of this is that both Democrats and Republicans had amendments to this bill. I think the amendment I put forth would have carried the day. It would have allowed the FDIC to actually charge enough money in the difference for these transaction accounts so we would not have the budget point of order that has been raised. But the amendment has not been heard. The leader filled the tree, and therefore no amendments--not Republican amendments, not Democrat amendments--could have been heard.
The other amendment I had that would have helped even more or added to this solution is we could have made this program voluntary so that if there are community programs around the country that wanted to participate in this program, they could have done so on a voluntary basis.
So there are two amendments--one that would have forced the FDIC to actually charge enough money to make this account actuarially sound, and that amendment is not being heard, and an amendment to allow this to be voluntary so that if there are community banks that are struggling and feel as though they need to protect these accounts and still keep them in their banks, they could have paid the actuarially sound amount to make that occur. But neither one of those amendments has been heard.
I would say to everybody in this body who is tired of this place not working because neither side of the aisle has the opportunity to vote for amendments, to have amendments heard and voted on, I say to both sides of the aisle that we absolutely should vote to uphold this point of order and hope that when we come back next year, both Republicans and Democrats will have the opportunity to represent their constituents back home by offering amendments that can actually be voted on in this body.
I thank the Senator for raising the point of order. I wish we could have made this work for our country in an appropriate way, but what we are going to have today is just a simple vote.
I will just say this--and I probably shouldn't--the only reason we are voting on this amendment is that my friends on the other side of the aisle know Dodd-Frank has hurt community bankers throughout this country. They are trying to throw a bone out to community bankers across this country, and they are trying to get us to vote against it. That is not the way this place should work.
I have amendments that would have fixed this bill, made it work for community bankers, and we could have gone forward. The only reason we are doing it this way is because my friends on the other side of the aisle know the provisions in Dodd-Frank are hurting community bankers and they are trying to throw a bone.
I yield the floor.
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Mr. CORKER. Mr. President, I will be a little more brief this time. I thank the Senator for the point of order that he made and also his comments. We have some people on our side of the aisle who I know--due to things that have happened in this body previously--have had some amendments. I know some people feel as though we are harmful to banks which they may have supported in the past and maybe this is a way to do something that sort of makes it even, if you will.
I will just say to my friends on this side of aisle that may have some of those feelings, we have two amendments--there are actually multiple amendments--that will make this bill work. One amendment would cause the FDIC to charge the rate necessary to take into account the losses that are going to occur. I think it might pass by unanimous consent. I cannot imagine why people in this body would not like the FDIC to have to charge the appropriate amount.
Secondly, it would make this program voluntary. There are a lot of banks that candidly don't want to participate. They don't want to pay the fee. We can make this voluntary.
To my friends on this side of the aisle, I just want to say: Look, if we could hear these amendments, we could make this bill work for everybody. I don't like these kind of guaranteed programs, generally speaking, but I would be willing, if my amendment is passed, to support this bill.
I wish to go back to the last point. A point of order has been raised. The way this bill is now constructed, it violates the Budget Control Act. This body has voted to uphold budget points of order on some pretty tough issues.
I think the point the Senator from Pennsylvania is making is we are going to violate a budget point of order to create a bailout for banks. I don't know. In my opinion, that is not exactly what we need to be doing. We can fix this if we could hear our amendments to make it so it is not a bailout for the banks by just making it actuarially sound and know they are covering their costs themselves, but the majority leader will not let us do that.
Candidly, I hope my friends on the Democratic side of the aisle would vote to uphold this budget point of order, knowing that if we could consider all the amendments today, we could actually make this sound. I hope we would unify the body and say to the majority leader: Enough with filling the tree and not allowing the Senate to operate. Let's get beyond that.
Again, I hope we will support the budget point of order.
I yield the floor.
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