Updated: U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK), a cosponsor of the Cut, Cap and Balance plan, released the following statement regarding the Senate’s defeat of the measure with comments added on debt talk breakdown.
“We are on the brink of a default and downgrade because Congress refuses to live with its means. Today’s vote shows that, at the end of the day, most politicians would rather lose the country than lose an election,” Dr. Coburn said.
“Many career politicians in Washington say they don’t need a balanced budget amendment to balance the budget. Their behavior suggests otherwise. This measure was necessary precisely because career politicians in both parties don’t want to do the hard work of cutting spending. They would rather talk than act,” Dr. Coburn said.
“The Senate, in particular, has gone from being a body that values debate to a body that avoids debate and tough votes at all costs. In the six months since a historic election the Senate still has not had a meaningful debate on our greatest national security threat – our unsustainable national debt. We have a surplus of excuses and a deficit of courage. The American people should be outraged by our arrogance and incompetence and term limit this body en masse,” Dr. Coburn said.
Earlier, this week, Dr. Coburn offered his own $9 trillion deficit reduction plan that compliments this effort.
“Raising the debt limit without addressing the cause of our debt – out of control spending, especially in entitlements – will be as damaging as a default. Doing nothing will be a tax increase, a benefit cut for seniors and the poor, and a betrayal of the values both parties hold dear.
“The American people have lost patience with Congress’ refusal to live within its means. It’s time for Washington to stop making excuses and start making the hard decisions that are necessary to put our fiscal house in order.
“I commend Speaker Boehner for putting forward, and passing, a plan that will avert a default. I’m disappointed the president has failed to do the same.
“I’m also disappointed the president’s references to the Gang of Six proposal were inaccurate and misleading. Sadly, he has undermined the fragile bipartisan consensus that was forming around a possible solution.
“Speaker Boehner may have no choice now but to pass a debt limit increase that is paid for not just with matching cuts, but additional cuts in order to pay for the interest costs associated with servicing our debt. If the president vetoes such a plan he will be sending the nation into default and will be collectively punishing every American because of Washington’s incompetence.”