Bob Corker thinking of voting with Dems on financial regulations?

In an interview, Corker said his negotiations with Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd of Connecticut prompted some “awkward” and “not very pleasant” discussions with his Republican colleagues — and that he and Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby, the ranking Republican on the committee, didn’t speak for nearly two weeks after he picked up discussions with Dodd that Shelby had dropped.

Things are better now, Corker said, but leadership is cautiously watching him. “I think the issue is just making sure he’s consulting with our leaders, and it doesn’t end up being a bill where it’s all Democrats and one Republican; two Republicans and they can say it’s a bipartisan bill,” said Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), No. 4 in the GOP leadership…

And Republicans’ worries over regulatory reform underscore larger questions facing GOP leaders in the run-up to November’s midterms: How much leeway can they give their members without undercutting efforts to draw stark contrasts with the Democrats? And how much party unity can they enforce without playing into Democratic charges that they’re the “party of no”?

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