WASHINGTON (AP) -- Republican Sen. Bob Corker is spending a lot of time talking to Democrats.
The freshman lawmaker from Tennessee unveiled his own 10-year, $4.5 trillion solution for averting the end-of-year combination of automatic tax hikes and spending cuts. He spoke briefly last week with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.
Corker also has spoken with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton about Libya and other issues. Corker is a senior member of the Foreign Relations Committee and is poised to become its top Republican next year. He'll have a major say on President Barack Obama's choice to succeed Clinton -- possibly the divisive pick of U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice.
In the Senate's new world order of a smaller Republican minority, the 60-year-old Corker is certain to play an outsized role.