Sen. Coburn defends vote for Rand Paul’s budget

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) defended his vote for Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-Ky.) budget proposal that would have eliminated four cabinet departments and slashed funding for others during a chat with bloggers Tuesday at the Heritage Foundation.

Paul’s budget proposal, which only received 16 votes would have eliminated the Departments of Education, Energy, Commerce and Housing and Urban Development.

But Coburn was the most adamant in his support for eliminating HUD, which provides Section 8 rent subsidies for approximately 2 million families.

The Senator declined to explain how what he would do to replace the department and its programs in the event recipients would no longer be able to afford to pay their rents under Paul’s proposal.

“HUD is one of the most ineffective, inefficient agencies in this town,” Coburn said. “[Housing] is not a federal responsibility; I read the Constitution very clearly and there’s a section in there called the enumerated powers.”

Coburn’s solution, transfer the power and money over public housing subsidies back to the states because he suggests they can do it cheaper and more efficiently.

Instead, the Senator chose to discuss the culture of dependency in our country that he says has hurt the poor and undermined their ability to be self-reliant.

“We have taken away the ability for them to flower as a human being and reach aspirations and goals that the all have,” Coburn said. “Learned dependency is the exact opposition of earned success, and when we have a programs enable us to create more learned dependency rather than earned success, I would say we are in a hole we are not going to get out of.”

Coburn suggested that the nation was better in the days before public welfare when localized community-based poverty solutions were the norm because they enabled people to succeed rather than keep them down.

On the Bureau of Indian Affairs, another federal agency Paul’s budget sought to eliminate, Coburn denounced it as an “incompetent” agency.

The Senator’s home state of Oklahoma has the second largest Native American population in the country after California.

“It’s not functioning,” Coburn said. “It’s hard to have a sovereign nation inside a sovereign nation … We are going to have lots of conflicts over the next 20 years over those issues.”

Comments

Jimmy Kimmel 'censors' Obama

Thanks to some mischievous editing from Jimmy Kimmel, these originally innocent TV clips will put your mind straight in the gutter.

Jon Stewart: Fox News is 'killing' him

As his days on the Daily Show wind down, Jon Stewart wants to make sure we are all aware how much he really, really hates Fox News.

Jay Carney is going to work for Amazon

Imagining an Amazon customer service call with Jay Carney on the line.

Ron Swanson, libertarian visionary

We're sad to say that "Parks and Rec" has aired its finale episode, leaving a Pawnee-shaped hole in our hearts.

Jon Stewart defends Bill O'Reilly

Bill O’Reilly, whom a Mother Jones report has accused of Brian-Williams-like war reporting exaggerations, has an unlikely defender: his long-time sparring partner, Jon Stewart.

White House

Calling for cooperation, Obama engages in confrontation

WASHINGTON (AP) — Amid appeals for bipartisanship, President Barack Obama in just three days has provoked Republicans on issues as disparate as immigration, Wall Street and the Keystone XL pipeline — a combative mix of defense and offense that underscores Washington's political realignment.

It’s on: Obama follows through and vetoes Keystone pipeline

Defying the Republican-run Congress, President Barack Obama rejected a bill Tuesday to approve construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, wielding his veto power for only the third time in his presidency.

Biden: The middle class is ‘being killed,’ in worse shape than any time since the ’20s

Joe Biden—everyone’s favorite creeper and truth-bomb-dropper.

MSNBC Host: Obama’s terrorism summit is a ‘dog and pony show’
You know it’s bad when President Obama has even lost the support of MSNBC. MSNBC Host Andrea Mitchell basically called the White House’s Summit on “Countering Violent Extremism” a farce during her show Wednesday. “Here he has the summit, no heads of government coming, the participation has not been at a particularly high level. We’ll have […]
Obama assures ‘almost complete confidence’ there have been no NSA abuses

The president’s interview with Re/code over the weekend touched on privacy issues, with Obama insisting with “almost complete confidence” that there have been no abuses of the government’s vast surveillance program.

Congress

Rand Paul calls on Hillary to retire

Rand Paul’s speech at CPAC Friday felt a lot like a campaign rally—and the crowd left little room to doubt that they wanted it that way, breaking out into chants of “President Paul! President Paul!” at least three times over the course of his remarks.

Cruz: Obama, Carter similarities 'uncanny'
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has his sights set on 2016, but he is not very optimistic about what will happen both at home and abroad in the mean time. Cruz laid out his predictions for the direction he believes President Obama is leading the country in during a round table event with reporters and bloggers […]
Cruz calls Lynch vote 'heartbreaking'
Loretta Lynch won approval from a key Senate committee Thursday to serve as the nation’s next attorney general, as divided Republicans clashed over her support for President Barack Obama’s immigration policies. The 12 to 8 vote in the Judiciary Committee sent Lynch’s nomination to the full Senate. Three Republicans joined all committee Democrats in voting “yes.” […]
It's Warren 2015, not '16

There seems to be a lot of talk about political "branding" lately. Allow Elizabeth Warren to take a crack at it.

Rand Paul calls Giuliani comments

Rand Paul pushed back on Rudy Giuliani’s controversial comments about Obama’s lack of patriotism, saying he prefers to question policy rather than motive.