U.S. Sen. Bob Corker said today he's not trying to be inhospitable to the president by not accompanying him to Corker's hometown of Chattanooga. But with a number of key nomination votes in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee today as Congress prepares to wrap up for its August recess, Corker said he thought he better stay in Washington D.C.
"I actually thought about calling an audible this morning and run over the the White House lawn to jump on Marine One to accompany the president when he came on down," Corker said today in a telephone interview from his Washington D.C. office. "But we just decided in terms of advancing policy it would be best for me to stay here."
Corker, a former Chattanooga mayor, said he talked with White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough several times today, but decided in the end to stay in Washington. Corker and other senators working on a budget agreement will meet with McDonough on Wednesday to continue their talks about ways to cut the deficit and spending, while still making smart investments to help boost the economy.
"The details matter on these things, but we're still talking, Corker said.
In his speech today at Amazon's fulfillment center in Chattanooga, Obama is expected today to propose cutting the U.S. corporate income tax rate, currently one of the highest in the world at 35 percent, in exchange for Republican support of investment measures and closing of some tax loopholes.