Coburn Calls Tornado Aid Debate ‘Typical Washington B.S.’ (VIDEO)

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) voiced frustration on Thursday with the discussion over whether federal aid provided to tornado-ravaged Oklahoma should be offset by spending cuts elsewhere, calling it an example of “typical Washington b.s.”

During an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Coburn boasted about his consistency on the issue, saying that he helped ensure that relief provided after the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing was offset. Pointing to what he characterized as “$200 billion worth of waste, fraud and duplication,” he expressed disdain for lawmakers who borrow money to provide disaster aid.

“So it’s morally wrong, it’s repugnant to me and it’s the lamest excuse career politicians can use, and that’s why our country is in trouble. That kind of thinking,” Coburn said.

But the conservative senator argued that any debate over spending offsets is motivated by politics, saying that the Federal Emergency Management Agency has a $11.6 billion fund it could use to help victims of the Oklahoma tornado. For that reason, Coburn said, it’s unlikely that Congress would even need to pass a bill to provide aid to his state.

“This is all a game and it’s a crass political game because I was being asked these questions before we even pulled the dead people out of the rubble,” Coburn said. “So it’s just typical Washington B.S., quite frankly.”



Tom Kludt is a reporter for Talking Points Memo based in New York City, covering media and national affairs. Originally from South Dakota, Tom joined TPM as an intern in late-2011 and became a staff member during the 2012 election. He can be reached at