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Public Statements

Senate Votes to Protect Wine Trains over White House Tours; Limits Political Science Grants

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) released the following statement today regarding Senate votes on his amendments to the Continuing Resolution, H.R. 933.

"I'm disappointed my colleagues prioritized wine train tours and Ukrainian Easter Egg Workshops ahead of tours to the White House and national parks. This vote shows that some in Washington are intent on essentially declaring war on tourists in order to prove an ideological point about sequestration. The fact that the Senate rejected cuts the administration itself proposed shows how disconnected Congress is from the American people. It's difficult to argue Congress can't cut spending when, over the last decade, the size of government increased by 89 percent while incomes of Americans dropped by five percent," Dr. Coburn said of his amendment #93, which was rejected by a vote of 45 to 54.

"However, I'm pleased the Senate accepted an amendment that restricts funding to low-priority political science grants. There is no reason to spend $251,000 studying Americans' attitudes toward the U.S. Senate when citizens can figure that out for free," Dr. Coburn said.

Specifically, Coburn amendment #65, which was accepted, ensures federal resources are directed towards innovative science by prohibiting the National Science Foundation from funding political science projects, unless the NSF director certifies projects as vital to national security or the economic interests of the U.S.

The Senate also accepted Coburn amendment #70 which would require all Department of Homeland Security-related reports issued to the Senate Appropriations Committee also be given to the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

The Senate rejected, by a vote of 48 to 51, Coburn amendment #69 which would have prohibited certain homeland security grants to be spent on conferences, excessive pay, and other unnecessary items.

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