Seriously Senator Coburn?

This 9/11 First Responders bill saga keeps getting better and better. Yesterday I called Senator Coburn a monster. It was a little hyperbole, slightly over the top – I thought. Then I read this.

You see,  Senator Coburn was bravely filibustering this bill because of procedure or something.  He also wanted to make sure that the bill was paid for – a reasonable request considering we just blew up the deficit by extending tax cuts for the rich.  Except the bill was paid for by closing tax loopholes.  He has since relented after winning.

The Democrats want to pass this bill, badly.  They have run into nothing but opposition from Republicans in the Senate. After all of the frustration, Democrats could have made a point about Republican priorities, questioned their morality and values.  To their credit, the Democrats did not.  They have refused to use First Responders as pawns in anything.  They did everything they could to pass this bill before Congress adjourns.  Today they found out Senator Coburn will drop his objections.  All they had to do was drastically reduce the size of the bill.

Originally the bill called for $7.4 billion in benefits and compensation.  Again, all paid for by closing loopholes.  Earlier they cut it back to $6.2 billion.  That still wasn’t enough for, the now-goateed, Mr. Coburn (he actually became the evil twin?).  So the Democrats cut the bill again to $1.5 billion in benefits and $2.7 billion in compensation.  And it all goes away in 5 years.   Mr. Coburn’s history makes this even worse.  He’s creating a legacy of supporting the rich over anyone else.

Of course, this was a principled stance for Mr. Coburn: “We don’t have an extra 11 billion right now…”  Bullshit.  This was paid for.  Maybe his constituents finally understand who they continue to empower to make choices for them.

Merry Christmas.

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