Senate Declines to Pay for Disaster Relief by Cutting Waste
U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) released the following statement after the Senate defeated his amendment that would have funded a $7 billion disaster bill through spending reductions instead of additional borrowing. Dr. Coburn's amendment failed by a vote 54 to 45. Sixty votes were needed for passage.
"Congress' refusal to set priorities and pass a budget that forces us to live within our means has created an economic disaster for our country and a debt that is now our greatest national security threat. Borrowing $7 billion when the Government Accountability Office has identified as much as $200 billion in annual waste and duplication is unconscionable. There is no reason why we need to exacerbate our economic crisis as we address natural disasters. The American people expect us to cut wasteful spending instead of inflicting further damage on our economy through unnecessary borrowing," Dr. Coburn said.
Several Senators who previously voted to cut duplicative spending identified by GAO today voted to protect wasteful and duplicative spending. An almost identical amendment to cut duplication was overwhelmingly approved by the Senate 64 to 36 on April 6, 2011.