Sen. Tom Coburn’s (R-OK) office on Tuesday afternoon slammed critics of his position that any additional disaster relief funds to tornado victims in his state must be offset with spending cuts.
“It is crass for critics to play disaster aid politics when first responders are pulling victims from the rubble,” his office said in a memo to reporters.
Coburn is on his way to Oklahoma “to assess the damage first-hand,” the memo said. It continued that it’s not clear if FEMA will need Congress to authorize additional relief funds for but that “as the ranking member of the committee that oversees FEMA, [Coburn] wants to ensure that the federal government responds in the most compassionate, effective and efficient way possible.”
“Dr. Coburn has opposed disaster aid bills in the past because he believes disaster funding should be used to pay for disasters, not a wish-list of parochial or backlogged priorities that have nothing to do with helping victims,” his office said. “If an additional emergency aid package is necessary Dr. Coburn will not change his long-standing position on offsets.”