Oklahoma’s two Republican senators usually oppose federal disaster relief for any states but theirs


“Hypocrites” is the one word that comes to mind in light of THIS::

As frantic rescue missions continued Monday in Oklahoma following the catastrophic tornadoes that ripped through the state, it appeared increasingly likely that residents who lost homes and businesses would turn to the federal government for emergency disaster aid. That could put the state’s two Republican senators in an awkward position.

Sens. Jim Inhofe and Tom Coburn [above], both Republicans, are fiscal hawks who have repeatedly voted against funding disaster aid for other parts of the country. They also have opposed increased funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which administers federal disaster relief.

Late last year, Inhofe and Coburn both backed a plan to slash disaster relief to victims of Hurricane Sandy. In a December press release, Coburn complained that the Sandy Relief bill contained “wasteful spending,” and identified a series of items he objected to, including “$12.9 billion for future disaster mitigation activities and studies.”

Coburn spokesman John Hart on Monday evening confirmed that the senator will seek to ensure that any additional funding for tornado disaster relief in Oklahoma be offset by cuts to federal spending elsewhere in the budget. “That’s always been his position [to offset disaster aid],” Hart said. “He supported offsets to the bill funding the OKC bombing recovery effort.” Those offsets were achieved in 1995 by tapping federal funds that had not yet been appropriated.

In 2011, both senators opposed legislation that would have granted necessary funding for FEMA when the agency was set to run out of money. Sending the funds to FEMA would have been “unconscionable,” Coburn said at the time.

Hart said Coburn had “never made parochial calculations” about Oklahoma’s disproportionate share of disaster funds, “as his voting record and campaign against earmarks demonstrates.” Hart added that Coburn, “makes no apologies for voting against disaster aid bills that are often poorly conceived and used to finance priorities that have little to do with disasters.”


Oklahoma currently ranks third in the nation after Texas and California in terms of total federal disaster and fire declarations, which kickstart the federal emergency relief funding process. Just last month, President Barack Obama signed a disaster declaration for the state following severe snowstorms.

And despite their voting record on disaster aid for other states, both Coburn and Inhofe appear to sing a different tune when it comes to such funding for Oklahoma.



  1. expdoc

    Never waste a good crisis.

  2. Steverino

    Both are climate change deniers as well.

  3. Robert

    And if anybody ask them about their past votes and comments on disaster relief, they’ll respond, “This isn’t the time to be asking such insensitive questions. How dare you call me on my record of doing the business of the people, in a moment like this.”

    Are there any principled politicians out there? Or is it all about capitalizing, literally, on the moment?

  4. Brian Opsahl

    Another do as i say NOT as i do guys…I wonder how all those republicans who voted for these guys feel now that it has happened to them. I feel bad for these folks and this is why we share this responsibility with all Americans

  5. Robert

    expdoc, I don’t get it. Why cross him off the principled list?

  6. Neftali

    ” appear to sing a different tune when it comes to such funding for Oklahoma” – Wrong, HuffingtonComPost. Wrong, Wrong, Wrong. OMG these stupid liberals have no business calling themselves journalists.

    For Christ’s sake, Coburn called for offsets to the bill funding OKC bombing recovery efforts! And now his office has confirmed that any supplemental tornado aid to also be offset.


    If anything, Coburn is remarkably principled in his convictions, and he should be applauded for it. Besides, do we really need $12.9 billion for future disaster mitigation activities and studies?

    expdoc is correct, liberals abide by Rham’s “Never waste a good crises” mantra like its Holy Scripture. In other words, anytime something bad happens (which is pretty frequent) use it as an opportunity to spend a boatload of taxpayer money on excessive stuff that has nothing to do with said crises, then condemn anyone who speaks up against such wasteful spending as immoral.

  7. Brian Opsahl

    This from the guys who brought you Katrina…Brownies doing a heck of a job…as people were being shot in the street,starving,thirsty,homeless,but hey Bush did a flyover..

    This all sounds good till it happens to somebody close to you. They might think it a good idea but the ones who have lost everything….NOT so much..!!

  8. Neftali

    Brian Opsahl – What would you have preferred Bush do in regards to Katrina?

  9. Craig Knauss

    “Coburn spokesman John Hart on Monday evening confirmed that the senator will seek to ensure that any additional funding for tornado disaster relief in Oklahoma be offset by cuts to federal spending elsewhere in the budget.”

    Offsets to where “elsewhere in the budget”? It’s the old “gimme mine and screw you” principle. Will Coburn accept reduced federal spending for other programs earmarked for Oklahoma? Or is he expecting some other state to make up the difference? Has he identified any other federal spending in Oklahoma that he would accept for reduced spending? If not, then he’s not principled at all.

  10. Brian Opsahl

    Nef, doing a flyover just shows his dissdane for the average guy…these people had no water,food, shelter, and fireing Brownie for doing a lousey job would have been a good start.

  11. Neftali

    Craig Knauss – Coburn is a champion about finding ways to make government run more efficiently through reduced spending. For several years now Coburn has worked with the Government Accountability Office to find duplicate areas of government spending. Even Harry Reid has commended his efforts. Its not a “you vs. me” game as you claim. Here is the latest press release:


    Examples from the 2013 Duplication Report:

    679 renewable energy initiatives at 23 federal agencies and their 130 sub-agencies cost taxpayers $15 billion in FY 2010.
    76 programs to prevent or treat drug abuse are spread across 15 agencies, costing $4.5 billion in FY 2012.
    Three federal offices are involved in overseeing catfish inspections.
    159 contracting organizations in 10 different Defense Department components provide defense foreign language support. GAO estimates $50 to $200 million in potential savings by eliminating this duplication.
    The Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) offers 69 different language services. GAO found 23 instances of overlap involving 43 of these services, accounting for $149 million, or nearly 20 percent, of the BBG’s FY 2011 annual appropriations.
    21 programs, including eight tax expenditures, are in place to help students save for, pay, and repay the cost of higher education, annually costing $45 billion, $104 billion in financial loans, and $25 billion in lost revenue from tax spending.
    Six programs to employ and train veterans are operated by two government agencies, which spent $1.2 billion in FY 2011 to serve 880,000 participants. The GAO found, “Despite these efforts, the unemployment rate for veterans who have recently separated from the military is higher than that for other veterans and nonveterans.”
    The Department of Commerce’s National Technical Information Service (NTIS) was established in 1950 and tasked with collecting and distributing certain reports. Despite the fact that nearly 75 percent of these reports are now available online for free, NTIS continues to charge the public, and even other federal agencies, for these reports. Even more, 95 percent of those on other websites, were available for free. Making the government looking even more foolish, GAO explains, “The source that most often had the reports GAO was searching for was another website located at http://www.Google.com.”
    Six separate offices at the Department of Homeland Security are involved in research and development. In one example, “two DHS components awarded five separate contracts that each addressed detection of the same chemical. Moreover, DHS did not have the policies and mechanisms necessary to coordinate or track research and development activities across the department.”

  12. Robert

    Craig, you nailed it. Let’s see him require the offsets come out of money earmarked for Oklahoma. In fact, let’s see him demand it come out of money for other projects in Oklahoma.

  13. expdoc

    You liberals are hilarious. Pat makes an accusation and Neftali (actually Coburn) crushes it as false and now you whine that and budgetaryoffset should come from money designated for Oklahoma.

    Why should it? It is money in the federal budget. Why shouldn’t the money come from an area in the federal budget that has been identified as duplicative, wasteful or unnecessary?

  14. Coburn should ask Big Oil to give back just a small portion of their billion$ of federal subsidies to fund disaster relief in OK, sine qua non. Talk about the prototypical example of wasteful spending!

    Oops, I forgot Big Oil is his employer… that would be “impolitic”.

  15. Robert

    exp, as Craig said, “It’s the old “gimme mine and screw you” principle.” If he’s going to demand offsets, it seems reasonable they come out of his state. And I’m not a liberal.

  16. Brian Opsahl

    You can’t have it both ways Doc, which is it,fair is fair. if you want set backs then why not Oklahoma. That’s how those 2 Senators vote for other dissasters…why should us in Illinois have to pay for …say Oklahomians or New Jersys problems…?

  17. Neftali

    Brian, my first comment in this thread already disproved your comment about “That’s how those 2 Senator vote for other disasters.” As I considered weeks earlier, I think I will start counting the number of times you are wrong. So we’ll start by giving you a fresh slate up to today and just consider your above comment “1st time you are wrong.” Should be interesting to see how quickly this number tallies.

  18. expdoc

    No Robert, it seems reasonable that offsets should come from where they make the most sense in the federal budget. If they can come from something earmarked for OK, then fine.

    Taxpayer dollars aren’t candy to be distributed to the whiniest toddler they are precious resources to be carefully used where it makes the most sense, like for the disaster victims in OK.

  19. Brian Opsahl

    Nef,again as I said …Thats how they voted for Sandy and the others …wanting offsets, and again if they want offsets why not Oklahoma. Can you read Nef..?

    As I have said…Nef, we are the United States …not the Divided States as you republicans have done since Mr.Obama got elected 4 1/2 years ago.

  20. george

    Just read or watch Inhofe’s statements during the Sandy debate. He’s lying now or he was lying then, he made little to no mention of pork spending.

    And surely he’s aware that Sandy hit more than just New Jersey? Help was needed in CT, NY, DC, and yes, the US Virgin Islands. He’s a liar.

    What’s that about makers and takers?

  21. Craig Knauss


    It’s you rightwingers who are hilarious. The rightwing halfwits who live around me are constantly bitching about federal spending. But, as I have posted repeatedly, and you have apparently ignored, this area receives billions, yes billions, each year in federal spending. Hanford alone rakes in over $2 billion each year. And most of these bitching halfwits have worked at Hanford’s good paying jobs and are, or soon will, collect handsome pensions for doing so. Most of them have decent homes, big freakin’ trucks and SUVs, motorcycles, RVs, and any toy the desire. And how do they say thanks, by bitching about federal spending. Correction: bitching about someone else’s federal spending. Just like that Coburn guy.

    Wanna guess what this area would be without all that federal sugar? It would be just thousands of square miles of sagebrush and tumbleweeds, AKA scrubland. That’s all.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *