WASHINGTON – A leading congressional deficit hawk says a bipartisan budget agreement hammered out on Capitol Hill is mostly a patch-work approach that fails to address wasteful spending that is contributing to a ballooning federal debt.
Republican Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma says the accord announced Tuesday by GOP Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington state likely was the best that could be achieved at this time, but says he can’t support it.
The political accommodation would restore some $63 billion in automatic spending cuts. Coburn says it doesn’t go far enough toward genuine deficit reduction and doesn’t attack duplication of effort in federal programs. He says, for instance, there are 47 separate federal job-training programs, costing about $31 billion a year, which duplicate each other.