An ardent supporter of fiscal austerity, Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn is demanding budget cuts are made elsewhere before funding disaster relief for the tornado victims in his state. Coburn spokesman Jon Hart wrote to Politico telling them that "He’ll [Coburn] ask his colleagues to help Oklahoma by setting priorities and sacrificing less vital areas of the budget”.
This is clearly political suicide for the Senator, who along with Sen. Jim Inhofe have voted repeatedly against funding disaster relief around America. Reports the Huff Post:
They [Coburn and Inhofe] also have opposed increased funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which administers federal disaster relief.
Late last year, Inhofe and Coburn both backed a plan to slash disaster relief to victims of Hurricane Sandy. In a December press release, Coburn complained that the Sandy Relief bill contained "wasteful spending," and identified a series of items he objected to, including "$12.9 billion for future disaster mitigation activities and studies."
If they remain steadfast and demand the cuts, they should be given credit for consistency. But certainly not compassion.