Dec 14 2005
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) released the following statement today regarding his intention to block new spending items during the final days of the congressional session that are not amendable or offset by cuts in other areas:
“The final days of the congressional session are always a dangerous time for taxpayers. In the rush to leave town, Congress often throws caution to the wind and slips in last minute items that embarrass the institution when revealed.
“This year, taxpayers should be concerned about the possibility that the bill that funds the Department of Defense will become a vehicle for new and unrelated spending that will do nothing to help our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. It’s wrong for members of Congress to use our troops as political cover for new spending. If Senators want to pass additional funds related to hurricane relief or the avian flu, for example, those measures should be amendable and not attached to must-pass bills that cannot be amended.
“In the real world, American families make tough decisions and prioritize their spending when they face a crisis or uncertain times. Slipping in new spending items in bills that can’t be amended tells taxpayers that Congress doesn’t need to prioritize.
“The Senate can easily provide adequate funds for hurricane relief and avian flu preparation by eliminating less essential items in the budget. At a minimum, the Senate should have an honest debate about priorities. If Senators want to argue, for example, that it is more important to spend $27 billion on 13,977 earmarks (pork projects) than to prepare for a possible flu pandemic they should make that case.
“Congress can’t have it both ways with the American people’s hard-earned tax-dollars. If politicians want the political benefit of ‘doing something’ on hurricane relief or the avian flu they should pay for it, not pass on even more debt to our grandchildren.”
Dr. Coburn is a cosponsor of S. 1928, a bill that would help Congress fund urgent priorities by reducing less essential federal spending by $125 billion over the next two years.
|12/21/05||Dr. Coburn Votes to Pass Deficit Reduction Package; Reaffirms Support for ANWR|
|12/19/05||Dr. Coburn Applauds President Bush’s Call to Stay the Course in Iraq|
|12/17/05||Senate Approves Coburn Provision to Protect Rape Victims|