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Sen. Coburn (R-OK) Votes Against Budget Resolution

Press Release from Senator Coburn–4/29/09

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) released the following statement today after voting against the conference report for the Fiscal Year 2010 Budget Resolution.

“This budget will make our economy worse by spending money we don’t have on things we don’t need. In these tough economic times, national leaders should be leading by example, which means making tough choices and eliminating programs that don’t work. President Obama continues to call for a line-by-line review of the federal budget, yet Congress continues to ignore its duty to make tough choices about spending. In fact, Congress had the audacity to gut from this conference report a simple amendment the Senate previously accepted that would have expressed Congress’ full support for the President’s effort to go through the budget line-by-line in order to eliminate wasteful spending,” Dr. Coburn said.

“This Congress continues to be in denial about our unsustainable fiscal course. Total spending under this budget is $3.9 trillion in 2009, or 28 percent of our GDP – the highest level since World War II. This budget will also increase the national debt to $17 trillion in five years, up from our current debt of $11.1 trillion. Our nation simply cannot continue on this course without suffering severe, and perhaps irreversible, consequences. Sadly, this budget shows that politicians are more committed to the politics of instant gratification, and their own re-election campaigns, than the serious challenge of preserving economic freedom and opportunity for future generations,” Dr. Coburn said.

May 1, 2009 Posted by | Conservatism | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sen. Reid (D-NV) blocks debate on pork-laden bill

#TCOT #diggcons

Press release from Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK)

Dr. Coburn Repeats Call for an Open and Transparent Debate on Controversial $10 Billion Omnibus Lands Bill

Urges Senate Leaders to set a new tone, allow debate

January 8, 2009

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) today urged Senate leaders to reconsider their decision to block debate and obstruct all amendments to a 1,300 page omnibus lands bill with 164 different provisions. The nonpartisan Congressional Research Service has called the package “controversial” because it has angered groups on the left and right with its wasteful earmarks, anti-environmental provisions and provisions that erect new barriers to domestic energy production. Dr. Coburn today filed 13 amendments to the package that target Republican and Democrat projects. Full background on the lands package is here.

“I’m disappointed the Senate Majority Leader has refused to allow Senators the opportunity to improve, amend or eliminate any of the questionable provisions in his omnibus lands bill. When the American people asked Congress to set a new tone, I don’t believe refusing to listen to the concerns of others was what they had in mind. The American people expect us hold open, civil and thorough debates on costly legislation, not ram through 1,300 page bills when few are watching. Blocking debate undermines the public’s trust in Congress and suggests that Senators have something to hide. If Senators want to load this bill with earmarks and deepen our dependence on foreign oil, they should defend those provisions on the floor of the Senate, not hide behind procedural roadblocks,” Dr. Coburn said.

“The American people have a right to know that this package would prioritize the funding of new and egregious pork projects like a road to nowhere in Alaska over critical maintenance of our national parks. The American people also have a right to know that this bill would erect new barriers to American sources of energy. One provision in this bill, which the Majority Leader won’t subject to amendment, would permanently ban access to an enormous natural gas field in Wyoming that would match the annual production of our two largest natural gas producing states, Alaska and Texas. Congress seems to have forgotten that just a few months ago the price of oil hit $148 a barrel and gas cost $4 per gallon. We are once again putting our short-term parochial interests ahead of the best long-term interests of the country,” Dr. Coburn said.

“Finally, while some have complained that I have used every procedural tool to block this bill I would respectfully remind Senate leaders that many more tools remain available to me and any other Senator who wants to exercise his or her rights. Our founders gave each individual Senator extraordinary procedural powers in order to prevent the tyranny of the majority. My goal is to use the rules to encourage debate while, I believe, Senate leaders are using the rules to obstruct debate. Blocking amendments, and attempting to silence the voices of millions of Oklahomans and other Americans who oppose business as usual in the Senate, is not a sustainable governing strategy, particularly when the American people are demanding change,” Dr. Coburn said.

Dr. Coburn submitted the following amendments to Senate leaders earlier this week in hopes of reaching an agreement that would allow the Senate to consider this legislation in a timely manner. Dr. Coburn is confident the average American would expect the United States Senate to at least debate the merit of these amendments, which highlight questionable provisions in the legislation.


• No funds may be spent on the new units to the National Park Service, new National Heritage Areas, studies, new Wild and Scenic designations, or new wilderness designations authorized by this Act until the Secretary of the Interior certifies that the maintenance backlog at the Statute of Liberty, Grand Canyon, Yellowstone National Park, Glacier National Park, Gettysburg, Antietam, USS Arizona Memorial, Lake Mead National Recreation Area, and the National Mall in Washington, DC have been resolved


• Nullify all restrictions on energy exploration and production within the bill

• Strike provision restricting access to a major natural gas reserve in Wyoming


• Strike $1 billion California water project to restore 500 salmon

• Strike $3.5 million for the 450th Anniversary of St. Augustine, Florida

• Strike $5 million for the National Tropical Botanical Gardens in Hawaii and Florida

• Strike earmark allowing for the construction of a “road to nowhere” through a national wild life refuge in Alaska

• Strike a provision that would allow a cave institute in New Mexico to receive unlimited federal funding


• Prohibit the use of eminent domain for any provision authorized in the bill


• Annual report detailing total size and cost of federal property

• Disallow the National Landscape Conservation System authorization from taking effect until an investigation by the Inspector General of the Department of Interior has been completed demonstrating that there was no criminal wrongdoing by the Department (There are allegations that the employees of the National Landscape Conservation System illegally coordinated with advocacy groups to permanently authorize the office)


• Prohibits restrictions on hunting, fishing, and the possession or use of a weapon, trap, or net in new public lands created by this Act


• Ensures that nothing in the Act shall prevent or obstruct the planning, construction, operation, or maintenance of a border fence or immigration enforcement


January 11, 2009 Posted by | Democrats, Economy | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) Press Release on Gov’t Waste

Coburn Report Highlights Worst Waste of 2008

Report Includes More Than $1.3 Billion in Pet Projects, Frivolous Grants and Other Ridiculous Spending


December 12, 2008

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK), ranking member of the Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, today released the oversight report “2008: Worst Waste of the Year.” The look back on 2008 features absurd federal spending from beltway bureaucrats and elected officials. To view the entire report click here.

“As we look back on federal spending for 2008, American taxpayers will laugh, and then cry at how their elected officials spent their hard-earned dollars. Not even these tough economic times have dulled Congress’ ability to find new and creative ways to waste taxpayer dollars,” Dr. Coburn said.

Examples of waste in 2008 include:

• $188,000 for Lobster Institute in Maine, home of the “LobsterCam”

• $1 million for bike paths on Louisiana levees while levees await basic repairs

• $2.4 million for a retractable shade canopy at a park in West Virginia

• $24.6 million for the National Park Service’s 100th year birthday in 2016 – 8 years early

• $3.2 million on a blimp the Pentagon does not want

• $367,000 wasted by a Texas school board on items like an inflatable alligator and under-the-sea waterslide, among other things

• $5 million for a bridge to a zoo parking lot in St. Louis

• $9,000 for a non-functioning airplane-shaped gas station in Tennessee

• $300,000 for specialty potatoes for high-end restaurants

“The waste highlighted in this report is only a fraction of the more than $385 billion the federal government throws away every year through waste, fraud and duplication. Yet, each example in this report is a snapshot that tells a larger story, just as the Bridge to Nowhere justifiably became a symbol of the corrupting nature of earmarks. The story the American people already understand is that Congress’ inability to make common sense decisions about spending priorities is putting our children’s future at risk. Until Congress abandons the short-term parochialism that gives us LobsterCams and inflatable alligators, we will never get a handle on the major economic challenges facing this country,” Dr. Coburn said.

December 12, 2008 Posted by | Conservatism | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment



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