Coburn: Sequestration Effects ‘Exaggerated’

Sunday, 24 Feb 2013 12:49 PM

By Amy Woods

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Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn believes that the effects of the sequestration that will “kick in” Friday have been “exaggerated” on governmental agencies and the American people.

Coburn, appearing on “Fox News Sunday,” said he did not support sequestration when it was introduced in Congress because it is “a stupid way to cut spending.” Asked if President Barack Obama was exaggerating the effects of the cuts, he responded, “absolutely.”

“It’s a terrible way to cut spending,” said the Republican. “I don’t disagree with that. But to not cut 2.5 percent out of the total budget over a year . . . give me a break.”

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Republicans and Democrats remain at loggerheads over deficit reductions, spending cuts and tax increases as the $85 billion sequestration deadline looms.

“The reason there’s no agreement is because there’s no leadership from the president on actually recognizing what the problem is, and the problem is an excessive, bloated, big federal government that’s highly inefficient and highly ineffective,” Coburn said.

“There’s easy ways to cut this money that the American people will never feel. What you hear is an outrage because nobody wants to cut spending. Not cutting spending is going to be disastrous for this country,” he said.

Coburn added that the crisis is not real.

“The crisis is made up,” he said. “It’s been created.”

Regarding Secretary of Defense nominee Chuck Hagel, Coburn said confirmation of the former Nebraska senator might be dangerous for the United States.

“The danger for our country, and the lack of leadership by the president, is recognizing that he doesn’t have the confidence of the vast majority of the Senate,” Coburn said. “In modern times, we haven’t had one defense secretary that’s had more than three votes against them, and you’re going to have 40 votes against him.”

Coburn also addressed gun control, an issue around which he and other lawmakers are trying to craft a bill to keep weapons away from the mentally ill.

He favors background checks but opposes record-keeping.

“There absolutely will not be record-keeping on legitimate, law-abiding gun owners in this country,” he said.

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