Kudos to McCain and Coburn

The Senate’s pork-busters aren’t letting Hurricane Katrina get in their way of eliminating government waste. In fact, the two have teamed up to use the hurricane relief efforts as a catalyst for driving home their message.

Senators McCain and Coburn Call on Congress to Make Sacrifices to Fund Hurricane Relief Effort

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) issued the following joint statement today calling on Congress to “lead by example” by cutting back on pork-barrel and other unnecessary spending to help fund the Hurricane Katrina relief effort. 

“Hurricane Katrina is one of the worst national tragedies in our history.  Whenever our nation experiences a tragedy Americans come together and make sacrifices to help their neighbors.  Individual Americans who are donating their time and money and opening their homes to evacuees are reminding us what sacrificing means.  Sacrificing means giving up something you want in order give someone else something they need.”

“If Congress wants to inspire the American people to continue to make sacrifices we need to be making sacrifices of our own.  The costs of the recovery and relief effort will be enormous.  Congress must do all that is necessary to fund essential relief and recovery efforts and help those in need.  However, to the extent that it is possible, we should pay for this effort now rather than pass on even more debt to future generations.”

“Members of Congress should, at least temporarily, deny themselves a few of the comforts of political office and refrain from directing tax dollars to special projects in their states that might help their political campaigns but not necessarily the country as a whole.  In the past year Congress has found a way to fund thousands of projects of questionable merit.  Perhaps a few of those dollars could have been better spent on activities that might have limited the impact of this tragedy.”

“Congress should be asking hard questions of every agency involved in the relief effort but first we should ask ourselves hard questions.  We should lead by example and give up a few of the things we want in order to give hurricane victims the things they need.”

Chances are that they’ll have little success accomplishing their goals, given the GOP majority’s reckless spending appetite. But it’s courageous especially for Coburn stand up for his principles. As a freshman senator, he has been unabashed in his attempts to rein in pork, even if it means jeopardizing him perks down the road.