Monday, August 04, 2008

Tom Coburn clobbers Dinghy Harry Reid

The Democratics turned off the lights in Congress and went on a 5-week paid vacation. What/who drove them to insanity? A principled cost cutter, Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma. Washington Times
Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid tried to shove an $11.3 billion pork-barrel bill past the Republicans last week but was gunned down by Oklahoman Tom Coburn and 39 of his friends. It was an embarrassing defeat for Mr. Reid, who never met a spending bill he didn't like, and a sweet victory for Mr. Coburn and his fellow Republicans who are trying to regain the trust of the GOP's disillusioned base as the party of fiscal discipline. Mr. Coburn, an obstetrician who still delivers babies, earned his reputation as the Senate's Dr. No for using his senatorial prerogative to place a hold on nearly 80 spending bills, enraging Democrats and a few Republicans who saw one budget-busting bill after another shredded and shelved by the Western waste fighter. Frustrated by the pile of bills Mr. Coburn was killing, Mr. Reid cobbled dozens of them into one fat-filled, omnibus monstrosity called the Advancing America's Priorities Act and made it the Senate's priority business at midweek.
If there had been more Tom Coburns and fewer Jerry Lewises the Republicans would not have lost Congress in 2006. In the article on Rep. Jerry Lewis at Congrespedia scroll down the section on Earmarks to read about his great failure. He did considerable damage with the earmarks to his own benefit in his district, but much more by preventing systemic improvement through his leadership position. The Wall Street Journal in an editorial before the 2006 election predictively labeled him "Minority Maker."

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