Severe Storms
10:14 am
Tue May 21, 2013

Coburn: Any Tornado Aid Must Be Paid For

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) greeting President Barack Obama.
Credit Tom Coburn / Facebook

U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) says that any additional federal aid to help tornado victims and to rebuild devastated areas of his state should be financed with cuts to other programs in the government's $3.6 trillion budget.

Spokesman John Hart says it's a position Coburn has consistently held regarding federal spending on disasters dating to the 1995 bombing of a federal building in Oklahoma City.

“Our office has been encouraged by the outpouring of support and offers for help from across the country," Coburn says. "As the ranking member of Senate committee that oversees FEMA, I can assure Oklahomans that any and all available aid will be delivered without delay."

But federal disaster aid such as $60 billion passed earlier this year to rebuild coastal states including New York and New Jersey from Superstorm Sandy typically is approved as "emergency" spending that is simply added to the budget deficit. That may happen again if more aid is need for Oklahoma.

Federal disaster aid coffers remain flush from the infusion of Sandy aid.