Oklahoma Tornado: Sen. Tom Coburn Plays Politics with Disaster Relief?

There’s nothing like an act of Mother Nature to remind us of our humanity. Looking at the ongoing coverage of yesterday’s tornado that devastated the small community of Moore, Oklahoma, I’m reminded of this.

Much like in the first few minutes after the Boston Marathon bombing, images of rescue efforts by first responders assisting victims serves as a subtle reminder. That would be, that in tragic events, the most important item is the human condition in times of pain, fear, and desperation.

In those first few moments, not much thought is given to the loss of property and material items. All that matters is the rescue of lives. And it is as such, that many individuals spring into action with abandon of self in an attempt to save lives.

One would think that everyone from Oklahoma especially, would be this way. But just as the tragic events of yesterday’s tornado gives us a glimpse of the human spirit and the will to live, unfortunately it also exposes our worst attributes as human beings. In the wake of yesterday’s tornado, it’s sad to see Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) be that very person. One would think that a politician who represents Oklahoma would be the last person to play partisan politics when it comes to the mater of rescue, recovery, and federal disaster aid funds. Unfortunately for the Oklahoma tornado victims, Tom Coburn is the man poised to play partisan politics at their time of desperate need.

This from Washington Post:

oklahoma-tornado-tom-coburnSen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) will insist that any federal aid to deal with the tornado in his home state must be offset by budget cuts.

“He will ask his colleagues to sacrifice lower priority areas of the budget to help Oklahoma,” spokesman John Hart said. Should other Republicans join Coburn, it could set up a fight similar to the January tug-of-war over Hurricane Sandy funding. That aid package was delayed by GOP opposition and ultimately passed with mostly Democratic support.

Coburn was against the Sandy relief package, as well as 2011 legislation toreplenish the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s disaster fund. His office has noted that the 1995 aid for victims of the Oklahoma City bombing was balanced by cuts to unspent appropriations. However, he did ask for expedited FEMA aid in 2007, when an ice storm hit his state.

Oh well, at least Coburn is being consistent. Yep, and I’m sure that it would not be long before someone blames President Obama for staging the tornado. Yep, because we all know that he used his other-worldly powers to create the tornado so as to get Climate Change legislation on the table.

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