Coburn: Budget deal doesn’t fix the problem

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) said Wednesday that the budget deal would pass not because it fixes the nation’s fiscal problems, but because it will save some members who are up for reelection.

“When you vote for this bill you’re voting for your political career,” Coburn said. “So it’ll pass ... But mark my words, if we continue to do what we’re doing today we will be remembered as the people who could have fixed the problem but didn’t.”

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The Senate is expected on Wednesday to pass a bipartisan budget agreement negotiated by Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and her House counterpart, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).

The bill sets top-line spending levels for 2014 and 2015 and reduces the sequester spending cuts by $63 billion over the next two years.

Coburn criticized the deal for not achieving nearly $20 billion in deficit reduction through spending cuts alone. He said the bill should have done much more to address the $17 trillion deficit.

“Does it solve a real problem? No, it actually puts the problem off and makes it worse by the tune of $68 billion,” Coburn said.

He made the comments a day after releasing his annual “waste book,” which details what he deems wasteful government spending. 

“We have a bill before us that is a purported compromise, but it’s not a compromise for the American people,” Coburn said. “It’s really a compromise for the politicians.”

Last week, the House overwhelmingly passed the budget bill, which Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) also supports.