Sen. Tom Coburn said Sunday last week’s dinner meeting with President Barack Obama about the federal budget and sequestration might lead to a turning point in a “dysfunctional” Washington D.C.
Appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” the Republican said he is proud of Obama for reaching across party lines and welcomes discussion about how to cut spending.
“He is moving in the right direction,” Coburn said. “I’m proud of him for doing it, and I think it’s a great thing. But it shouldn’t be news.”
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Obama invited a handful of mostly moderate senators, including Coburn, to an exclusive dinner Wednesday night at the Jefferson Hotel.
“The fact that this is news is news in itself, because it shouldn’t be news that the president is reaching out in a bipartisan fashion to try to solve problems for the country,” Coburn said.
He said Washington D.C.’s dysfunction stems from failing to tackle issues of fiscal responsibility, including runaway Medicare spending.
“Washington’s dysfunctional, but it’s dysfunctional in a dysfunctional way,” Coburn said. “Members of Congress and the administration agree on too much. I’ve spent eight years looking at every spending item in the federal government, and we waste, easily, $200 billion a year in totally ineffective or duplicated programs.”
He said he will continue to put pressure on the administration to slow such spending.
“I’ve got an ammo drawer full of things to complain about when they’re going to say. ‘We’re not going to have enough people in the FAA towers,’” Coburn said. “I can show them all the things, the stupid thinks, they’ve done over the last two years that we can stop doing."
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