Oklahoma Sen. Coburn: Tornado relief funds must be offset with spending cuts
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) said just hours after a major tornado ravaged his state that he would use the federal relief funds as a cudgel to force Democrats into accepting more spending cuts to programs like Social Security and Medicare.
The death toll in Oklahoma as of Tuesday morning stood at 24, seven of them children, according to revised figures from the state’s medical examiner’s office. Earlier death reports included much higher numbers, but officials later said that some of the victims were counted twice amid Monday’s chaos. Local hospitals took in hundreds of people injured by flying debris as well, including 70 children. Authorities in Moore, Oklahoma have said they expect the death toll to rise.
The Oklahoma Republican revealed his plans Monday night, speaking to a reporter for CQ.com, a subscription-only service. CQ’s public-facing side reported on the comments later that night, saying Coburn will “absolutely” demand spending cuts to offset his state’s need for federal aid after Monday’s devastating tornadoes.
It’s still not clear how much the state will require or how much the Federal Emergency Management Agency will spend on recovery efforts, but it’s clear that the recovery effort will cost tens of millions at least.
Coburn is one of 36 Republican members of the Senate who voted against disaster relief aid after Superstorm Sandy engulfed most of the eastern seaboard. A total of 67 Republicans in the House joined Coburn and his Senate colleagues in voting against funding Sandy relief aid. Coburn also notably tried to block a bill in 2010 that helped 9/11 first responders pay their lingering medical bills from the pollution they inhaled after that disaster.
FEMA says that only two states in the union with more emergency delcarations on record than Oklahoma are Texas and California, two of the most populous regions of the country. By contrast, Oklahoma has just over 3.8 million people, whereas Texas has over 26 million, and over 38 million live in California.
This bitch just wants to cut social security and Medicaid and is using this as an excuse.
Why not cut his gold plated medical coverage that he'll have for life?
[quote] Why not cut his gold plated medical coverage that he'll have for life?
Along with his current salary and his pension. I say roll back ALL congressional salaries to $1 a year, effective immediately.
[quote]Coburn is one of 36 Republican members of the Senate who voted against disaster relief aid after Superstorm Sandy engulfed most of the eastern seaboard
Who in the hell is this shithead from a shit state where they pay less than shit in taxes to say anything? Why is he allowed to decide anything involving money? Red states are worthless!
I'm not going to pretend that I give a shit that OK got hit. I just don't give a shit about those states when these are the people who represent them - and who get elected over and over and over again. Selfish, useless, motherfuckers.
What I wouldn't give to have the president just say "You're on your own, fuckers! Isn't that what you want? You got it! You don't pay enough to keep your worthless asses!"
That's easy. Don't send the aid and make sure the people of Oklahoma know that their asshole Senator is exploiting their pain and this local tragedy to score political points 2,000 miles away. He is without a soul.
Let me understand: he would use his state's acceptance of federal disaster aid as a cudgel against federal spending?
Then follow R4's advice and let not providing disaster aid to Oklahoma be a step in the right path.
I agree. Simple solution: No aid to OK.
Astounding, breathtaking. This man is an elected official!
Awww, no aid for Oklahoma. Too bad.
You people are not being very nice. We should be above such political partisanship.
R225 from the other OK thread, being sanctimonius as I type
I too say follow the advice of R4. Let Mr. Coburn tour the ravaged area and defend his position.
I'm sure all the fiscally responsible Oklahomans will agree to refuse this welfare from the federal government.
The church will help them like they help those without health insurance.
Obama won't punish the citizens because of the stupidity of Coburn, but he should. I'm sure the people of Moore, OK don't know that this guy is playing politics with their relief funding.
And Inhofe (who also voted against Sandy Relief) is claiming OK aid is "different" from Sandy.
Yeah, you know the difference? The states hit by Sandy will actually be getting their own money back while OK will be getting other people's money.
So be it. No aid to Oklahoma, per Sen. Coburn's demands.
Someone please tell the Senator that we Americans don't spend our whole working lives making mandatory payments into Social Security in order for him to raid our funds to give to his state for totally unrelated purposes.
Let them bring home all American troops and cut the Pentagon spending to the very bone. No more golf games at five-star resorts for generals and admirals. No more cheesecake shipped to the desert and no more private military contractors bleeding us of billions.
Furthermore, the private sector economy of the Eastern Seaboard with its overland trucking, water shipping and manufacturing has a positive impact nationwide.
The only thing Oklahoma exports is ignorance.
Let him de-fund the CIA and cut off aid to ALL foreign nations.
In 2011, the last year for which figures are available, Oklahoma received over $230,000,000.00 in farm subsidies, not counting the $85,000,000.00 in disaster payments. There's a good place to start cutting, except I am sure that subsidized corporate farmers would tell the illustrious senators to back off or no campaign funds.
I heard a similar story (though not as terrible) about Mark Sanford refusing to accept stimulus funds when he was governor of SC even though the people in his state were hurting. Yet, SC elected him again to another position.
I feel bad for people in OK on a human level, but I agree with the all the posters who want to say no to aid. This is want you wanted - austerity - and this is what is looks like. Not pretty, is it? You know the state is full of Tea Bagger assholes who'd say no to someone else.
All I can say is that I hope the next tornado strikes the district of the tea bagger congressman from Kansas that's always on Morning Joe.
Don't say no outright to the aid, put publicize the hell out of the hypocrisy and stupidity.
Perhaps everything could be stamped:
"Federal Relief funds that you voted against."
Any more on this?
OR we could just not give any relief money to OK.
It would make sense for the spending cuts to come from the usual federal benefits and subsidies to OK. If they object to other states receiving help, then they need to take the hit all by themselves.
Remember that even in the reddest of red states, there are millions of progressive liberals, even if they don't dominate the political process. (Which everywhere is more about money and power than actual voters.) It's just wrong to assume the people affected by this tragedy are monolithic in their support of the asshats that represent them.
You're right, R25, and too bad for them. OK is the reddest of red states. They don't like the government -- you know, like FEMA -- yet there they are now with their hands out.
And their genius U.S. senator wants them to get our disaster aid while we offset that all-important cost by cutting back elsewhere.
Because OK is so fucking important that the rest of just can just sacrifice for it.
To hell with these people.