Sen. Coburn on disaster relief: "We'll take the help that's appropriate"

(CBS News) Senator Tom Coburn, R-Okla., promised immediate disaster relief funds for his home state in the wake of a deadly tornado that leveled Moore, Oklahoma, but the senator also insists that the relief spending should be offset by cuts elsewhere in the federal budget.

Coburn voted against the $50 billion relief plan for Hurricane Sandy but said Wednesday on "CBS This Morning" that he voted against it only after the terms of the initial bill were changed.

"I voted for the first section of [the bill] that came through the first time...the $20 billion that's actually necessary. Then...it became a Christmas tree," Coburn said, "We added $40 billion on top of it and then charged it to ours kids. It's just not an appropriate way to run the future of our children."

On Monday, a spokesman for Coburn deflected criticism about his stance on the bill in light of the disaster in his home state, saying "that's always been his position [to offset disaster aid]. He supported offsets to the bill funding the Oklahoma City bombing recovery effort."

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Coburn reaffirmed this view on Wednesday, saying: "Any time we do an emergency supplemental bill, I believe we ought to pay for it," adding that he doubts the stance will be politically risky in the aftermath of the Oklahoma tornado.

"My constituents...don't want us to charge our everyday living expenses to their kids...why should we saddle them? We'll take the help as taxpayers to the federal government but we also want to do it prudently and wisely," he said.

Coburn added that disaster relief efforts facilitated by FEMA are swiftly "in action" in Oklahoma and said, "Oklahomans need some assistance and they'll get it form the federal government but they have the spirit to do what's necessary to rebuild their lives. We'll take the help that's appropriate."

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