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Dr. Coburn Applauds Senate Passage of CDC, Education Amendments

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Dr. Coburn Applauds Senate Passage of CDC, Education Amendments

U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) released the following statement regarding Senate passage of his amendments to the fiscal year 2008 Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS) and Education appropriations bill. Coburn Amendment 3320 would eliminate waste at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), while Coburn Amendment 3323 would require a "report card" on the effectiveness of Department of Education programs and spending.

Coburn Amendment 3320 would eliminate the CDC's multi-million dollar ombudsman program. The program, according to the CDC, was to improve "employee morale" at the agency.

"Prohibiting the CDC from funding these items will free up funds for the agency to spend on the life-saving work crucial to its mission," Dr. Coburn said. "When millions of children lack access to health insurance, it is wrong for federal health agencies to misdirect or waste health dollars."

In an oversight report on CDC spending titled, "CDC Off Center," Dr. Coburn found the agency spent millions of dollars on wasteful items including dry heat saunas and zero gravity chairs at the CDC's Atlanta-based employee gym. Coburn Amendment 3323 would prioritize CDC spending by prohibiting the agency from spending more tax dollars on such wasteful items.

Coburn Amendment 3323 would require a "report card" to determine the effectiveness and efficiencies of the Department of Education and its various programs. A similar measure was adopted in the House.

"Just as the Education Department seeks to hold schools and teachers accountable for student performance, taxpayers, parents and students have the right to hold the department and Congress accountable for the effective and efficient use of taxpayer dollars," Dr. Coburn said. "Parents like to know information about the schools to which they send their children. Likewise, parents deserve to know some basic information about the Education Department and its employees who are increasingly playing a greater role in the classroom."

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