Coburn: Disaster victims getting federal aid think they ‘don’t have to be responsible’

By David Edwards
Sunday, May 26, 2013 14:08 EDT
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Tom Coburn speaks to CBS News
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Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn (R) on Sunday said that the federal government had “created kind of a predicate, that you don’t have to be responsible for what goes on in your state” by providing aid after disasters like the tornado that hit the Oklahoma City area last week.

Less than a week after the monster tornado did billions of dollars worth of damage to his state, CBS News host Bob Schieffer asked Coburn if now was the time to reform the way the federal government budgeted for disaster aid.

“I really do,” the Oklahoma Republican agreed. “We ought to have priorities about how we fund it instead of borrowing the money, and we ought to make sure the money is actually for the emergency at hand, not for four or five years later. And not allow to bill to be actually loaded up with things that have nothing to do with the emergency at hand.”

Coburn asserted that federal disaster aid should only kick in when local resources were overwhelmed, and he said that the “vast majority” of disasters did not meet that requirement.

“So, we’ve kind of transferred the responsibility for storms and damage to the federal government, instead of to the state government.” he insisted. “We’ve created kind of a predicate, that you don’t have to be responsible for what goes on in your state.”

Just hours after the tornado hit last week, Coburn told CQ.com that he would “absolutely” demand that aid be offset by spending cuts.

Watch this video from CBS’ Face the Nation, broadcast May 26, 2013.

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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