Oklahoma senator wants to offset tornado aid with other cuts

Both Republican Oklahoma senators voted against federal relief for Hurricane Sandy victims

By Jillian Rayfield
Published May 21, 2013 1:04PM (EDT)

Sen. Tom Coburn, a Republican from Oklahoma, said that he would "absolutely" push to offset any federal relief for the devastating tornado in Oklahoma with cuts elsewhere, Roll Call reports.

"That's always been his position [to offset disaster aid]," Coburn spokesman John Hart told the Huffington Post. "He supported offsets to the bill funding the OKC bombing recovery effort."

Both Coburn and his colleague James Inhofe, also a Republican from Oklahoma, have repeatedly voted against federal disaster relief for various parts of the country, including, most recently, the aid package for Hurricane Sandy victims. Both have also opposed increasing FEMA's funding.

But, as the Huffington Post points out, Coburn and Inhofe have also previously supported disaster aid for their own state:

In January of 2007, Coburn urged federal officials to speed disaster relief aid after the state faced a major ice storm.

A year later, in 2008, Inhofe lauded the fact that emergency relief from the Department of Housing and Urban Development would be given to 24 Oklahoma counties. "The impact of severe weather has been truly devastating to many Oklahoma communities across the state. I am pleased that the people whose lives have been affected by disastrous weather are getting much-needed federal assistance," he said at the time.

Jillian Rayfield

Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at jrayfield@salon.com.

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Fema James Inhofe Oklahoma Oklahoma Tornado Republicans Tom Coburn