After Blasting Reid For Not Holding Votes, Coburn Blocks Vote On Disaster Relief

September 14, 2011 2:34 pm ET — Jamison Foser

Sen. Tom CoburnSen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) has spent much of the year blasting his fellow senators in general, and Majority Leader Harry Reid in particular, for refusing to hold votes because they don't "have the courage and the honor to go out and defend" the votes they would cast. It's always been a jaw-droppingly hypocritical charge, given that the real reason for the infrequency of Senate votes is the obstructionism of Republicans, especially Coburn himself. And Coburn is at it again, blocking a vote on disaster relief funding, according to The Hill.

Here's Coburn back in June, attacking Reid for refusing to hold votes:

In an interview, Coburn said he had little choice but to force a vote and he took on Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).

"His goal is to do nothing, so they have to take as few as votes as possible," Coburn told POLITICO. "Rome is burning, and the Senate is picking its nose."

And here's The Hill today:

One senator alone is blocking disaster relief, says Reid

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) blasted one GOP senator on Wednesday morning for standing in the way of a bill to fund the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and indirectly endangering the jobs of 80,000 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) employees.

Democratic sources on Wednesday said Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) was the culprit behind the filibuster and that he was opposing the $6.9 billion bill on the grounds that it costs too much and is not offset with spending cuts in other parts of the budget.

"That senator says he doesn't want a vote [on an amendment]," said Reid, without naming Coburn. "He wants to hold the bill up."

Coburn doesn't want a vote on an amendment? That's weird: Coburn calls senators who don't want votes careerist cowards. There are two obvious takeaways from this news: First, nobody should ever take Tom Coburn seriously, or mistake him for a man of principle. Second, a system in which a single senator who represents fewer people than live in the Riverside-San Bernardino metropolitan area can block disaster relief funding for the entire nation is fundamentally broken.

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