Oklahoma twister spawns political firestorm in Washington

Tuesday, May 21, 2013
By Paul Martin

May 21, 2013

A political storm has already broken out over the Capitol as Democrats and Republicans attempt to advance their agendas in the wake of the devastating tornado that ravaged parts of Oklahoma on Monday.

After the mile-wide tornado – which focused much of its fury on the town of Moore, on the outskirts of Oklahoma City – cleared, a bipartisan battle erupted in Washington in what appears to be political posturing at the worst possible moment.

What do you get when you take one monster twister, drop it into a staunchly conservative red state and mix it up with the political ideology of a Democratic leader at the helm in the White House? A lot of self-righteous politicizing at a time when people are still trapped under the rubble of collapsed buildings.

Tom Coburn, a Republican senator of Oklahoma, said his tornado-ravaged state, where at last count 91 people had died, should not receive federal emergency aid until an equal amount of budget cuts are made in Washington.

According to CQ Roll Call, Coburn said it is too early to put a price tag on the Oklahoma disaster, but that he “knows for certain” he will oppose any disaster funding that the federal government offers until he knows that it is paid for.

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