Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK), joined Newsmakers to discuss the latest in budget negotiations. Last week, he announced he was “taking a break” from the "Gang of Six," the bipartisan group of Senators working on a long term budget to reduce the federal deficit and debt.
The fiscally conservative Senator Coburn told Washington Post Reporter Lori Montgomery and Associated Press Reporter Andrew Taylor that he left the "Gang of Six" because the group reached an impasse.
He said the group is stuck on how to alter entitlements - Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security – which, he says, is the most significant way to cut trillions of dollars of spending.
Bucking many of his Republican colleagues, Senator Coburn said he is willing to raise taxes to close the budget gap. He said tax increases need to be done through tax code reforms and said his Republican colleagues are reluctant to agree to revenue raising mechanisms because they think spending will not be cut. To that argument, Coburn said, "We will get the spending cuts. I am not worried about that."
Senator Coburn said the Gang of Six plan "oughta make everybody mad."
Reporter Andrew Taylor also asked about his role in the John Ensign affair and scandal, which led to the Nevada Senator resigning his seat. Senator Coburn said, ""I am proud of what I did and the way I did it."