Dr. Coburn Responds to President Bush's State of the Union Address
U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) released the following statement in response to President Bush's State of the Union Address:
"President Bush made a strong and clear case tonight that our only choice in the war against terror and tyranny is to push forward or turn back. Our nation is fortunate to have a president who recognizes that our only option is to confront the growing threat of violent Islamic extremism.
"I also appreciated that President Bush acknowledged the need to restrain the practice of earmarking, which is a modern indulgence, not ancient tradition, in our country. If Congress continues this practice President Bush should not hesitate to use his veto pen. President Reagan vetoed a bill that included 121 earmarks in 1987 yet 14,000 earmarks were allowed to become law last year. Congress will never confront the larger challenge of unsustainable entitlement spending as long as it tolerates politically-expedient pork politics.
"Finally, as a practicing physician who has treated patients with HIV/AIDS, I was encouraged that the president called on Congress to reform and reauthorize the Ryan White CARE (Comprehensive AIDS Resource Emergency) Act. I sponsored the Ryan White Act reauthorization in 2000 and look forward to working with the president and my Senate colleagues to address the challenges and disparities in the program the president alluded to tonight. It is wrong for HIV/AIDS patients in some communities to be placed on long waiting lists while other communities are so awash in HIV/AIDS prevention funds they look for new ways to spend their Ryan White Act dollars."