Sen. Tom Coburn, Oklahoma Republican and one of the leading conservative voices in Congress’s Upper Chamber, offered a rather blunt take Thursday on the looming defense cuts that have evolved into a pitched battle between the two parties on Capitol Hill.
“I’ve had discussions over the last month with my friend [Arizona Sen.] John McCain and [South Carolina Sen] Lindsey Graham,” Mr. Coburn said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” referring to two members who recently barnstormed several states to highlight the impact of about half a billion dollars in defense cuts that could start to kick in early next year. “I can find the fat in the Pentagon. They’re just not willing to do it. And they don’t believe it’s there. I believe it’s there. I’ve actually studied it.”
“The point is is they’re worried we will cut into the actual real thing that will keep us defended, and I understand that concern,” he continued. “Plus, sequestration is stupid; you’re cutting good programs the same as you’re cutting bad.”
Mr. Coburn has long pushed for an audit of the Pentagon, saying Thursday that too much money is spent inefficiently.
“What we’ve done is spent way too much money and have not had any grown-ups in the room when it comes to major weapons systems,” he said. “There’s no grown-up in the room to say, ‘the bells and whistles got to stop, guys. Here’s how much we can afford to spend to get to this technology.’ “