(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK), a practicing physician, released the following statement today regarding the status of food safety legislation in Congress.
“Today’s House hearing illustrates why the American people have lost patience with Congress’ incompetence, excuses and partisan demagoguery. Congress’ response to years of its own failed oversight and fiscal irresponsibility is to steal money from future generations and repeat the same failed regulatory policies of the past. More money and more regulations solve nothing when Congress lacks the discipline to hold agencies accountable,” Dr. Coburn said.
“I was also disappointed that Chairman Waxman refused to allow a fellow member of his committee, Rep. Michael Burgess, to explain why various arguments made about Senate procedure were false. Waxman and others are arguing with the wrong Senator. Senate Majority Leader Reid alone is responsible for not bringing this bill to the floor for a full and open debate. Only the Majority Leader can explain how he found time to debate gays in the military, immigration and campaign finance – pet priorities of his political base – ahead of food safety. The schedule certainly suggests Congress is more interested in its political safety than food safety.
“If the Majority Leader believes this legislation is a matter of life and death he should agree to advance a version that is paid for. I intend to give the Majority Leader such an opportunity this afternoon. With our national debt at $13.5 trillion and unemployment near 10 percent we can’t tolerate the borrow-and-spend status quo any longer. It is nothing less than laziness and incompetence to argue that it is impossible to find $1.4 billion of waste in a $3.5 trillion to pay for this bill. The rest of America has to live within its means. It’s time for Congress to do the same,” Dr. Coburn said.