U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) released the following statement today after the Senate rejected two amendments offered by Senators Coburn and John McCain (R-AZ) that would have paid for the $60 billion supplemental bill by reducing spending by the same amount. Coburn/McCain amendment #4231 failed by a vote of 45 to 53, while amendment #4232 failed by a vote of 47 to 50.
"By refusing to pay for this bill the Senate is undermining our troops, our country and our future. Our national debt, which just hit $13 trillion, is the real emergency and Congress just made that problem worse," Dr. Coburn said. "Military operations that began in 2001 can hardly be called unforeseen emergencies. Using budget gimmicks to hide the costs of this bill has nothing to do with serving our troops and everything to do with serving career politicians who want taxpayers to subsidize their addiction to spending."
"The Senate could have easily come up with $60 billion to pay for this bill in our $3.5 trillion budget, at least ten percent of which is pure waste. A vote against this amendment was a vote to continue the vast amount of waste, inefficiency and sheer stupidity in the defense budget, in particular. The Pentagon's finances are so poorly managed they can't be audited. The reason they can't be audited is because Congress doesn't care to hold the Pentagon, or anyone else, accountable. This vote will further institutionalize the vast amount waste and inefficiency within the Pentagon and across the federal government," Dr. Coburn said.
"I was disappointed that instead of doing the hard work of setting priorities many of my colleagues defended their position with partisan rhetoric and tired campaign slogans. George Bush didn't force a single senator to borrow $60 billion to pay this bill, the vast majority of which is not a true emergency. The American people are sick and tired of these excuses. There is nothing patriotic about wasting other people's money, especially when it's rationalized as being for the troops," Dr. Coburn said.