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Oklahoma Senator Coburn Testifies About Government Waste

U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) testifies before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on January 9, 2014.
U.S. House of Representatives
Library of Congress

U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) testified Thursday morning before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

He discussed his annual oversight report during the "Waste in Government: What's Being Done?" hearing chaired by California Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.)

"I'm embarrassed that we, as members of Congress, have allowed this list, with the multitude of programs that are on there, with the duplicity that's in it, that we haven't fixed it,” Coburn said. “And we don't have an excuse. We're guilty of not doing our jobs."

Coburn says the report contains 100 examples of what he calls wasteful and low-priority spending worth about $30 billion.

"The government's grown so massive that there's only one department in the entire federal government that actually knows all of its programs, and that's the Department of Education,” Coburn said.

He suggested consolidating more than 650 renewable energy programs into just a handful, and said doing that throughout federal government programs could be a way to get to a balanced budget without raising taxes.

U.S. Rep. James Lankford (R-Okla.) is a member of the House committee. In a Facebook post, the Fifth District congressman said Issa plans to work with Coburn as often as weekly to move certain Wastebook items through the committee process.


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Brian Hardzinski is from Flower Mound, Texas and a graduate of the University of Oklahoma. He began his career at KGOU as a student intern, joining KGOU full time in 2009 as Operations and Public Service Announcement Director. He began regularly hosting Morning Edition in 2014, and became the station's first Digital News Editor in 2015-16. Brian’s work at KGOU has been honored by Public Radio News Directors Incorporated (PRNDI), the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters, the Oklahoma Associated Press Broadcasters, and local and regional chapters of the Society of Professional Journalists. Brian enjoys competing in triathlons, distance running, playing tennis, and entertaining his rambunctious Boston Terrier, Bucky.
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