Dr. Coburn's Statement on President Obama's Speech to Congress
U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) released the following statement tonight regarding President Obama's address to Congress and the nation regarding the economy:
"President Obama was wise to remind the American people that our nation has overcome obstacles in the past and that we will do so again. I also applaud President Obama for calling on Congress to make tough choices regarding our budget and I look forward to seeing his recommendations for specific spending cuts."
"However, I continue to be deeply troubled that Congress does not share his commitment to change in this area. In recent weeks, Congress has continued its reckless and out of control spending habits. Only days after passing a $1 trillion so-called stimulus bill Congress has now produced a $410 billion omnibus spending bill loaded with 8,570 earmarks for members in both parties."
"Congress simply does not have the capacity or credibility to tackle the scope the economic challenges President Obama outlined tonight while indulging in the bad habits of the past. President Obama has the capacity to be a transformational president but only if he draws a line in the sand with an institution that has been mortgaging our children's future for decades. During his campaign, President Obama pledged to return earmarks - the gateway drug to spending addiction - to less than $7.8 billion a year, the level they were at before 1994. Yet, the earmarks in the stimulus bill alone exceeded 1994 levels and Congress now wants to spend an additional $7.7 billion on pork. President Obama should veto this bloated omnibus bill unless it is scaled back."
"In Congress, the perfect political moment for fiscal responsibility has always been a mirage just beyond the horizon of the next election. However, our current crisis requires us to act now, not when it is convenient or politically safe. Asking Congress to spend more money is easy. Nothing brings both parties together more than the pleasure of spending other people's money. What these times require, however, is sacrifice, beginning with the pet projects of politicians in Washington."
"Finally, I share President Obama's view that comprehensive health care reform can drive down costs and improve quality and access for all Americans. However, our health care system will not be strengthened by expanding the same failed government-centered policies of the past. True reform must put patients and doctors in charge of health care decisions. Our nation should find an American solution to our health challenge, not import the failed socialistic experiments from abroad."