Until late this afternoon, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) was single-handedly blocking the transportation bill that would temporarily reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration, keep 80,000 people in their jobs, and avoid another costly shutdown like the one that occurred in August. Coburn had said he was blocking the bill due to the “indefensible threat to public safety” caused by a provision in the bill meant to increase trees and bike paths alongside roadways.


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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) had repeatedly chided Coburn, saying “the junior senator from Oklahoma” was acting like “a dictator.” Coburn reportedly removed his block of the bill this afternoon, but not before several Republican senators joined in that criticism, urging Coburn to relent on his blockade so the Senate could vote on the transportation package and avoid another shutdown […]


Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, who blasted her Republican colleagues and said the August shutdown was “not honorable,” joined [Illinois Sen. Mark] Kirk, saying she wanted the package to “pass without any delays. It’s too costly.” She was echoed by Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada and the Senate GOP’s Conference Chair, Lamar Alexander (TN), who said simply, “We need an FAA extension.”

The August FAA shutdown was costly for both workers and the government. For nearly two weeks, 4,000 FAA employees were involuntarily furloughed and the government lost more than $200 million a week in tax revenues.


WASHINGTON — The Senate narrowly averted another shutdown of the Federal Aviation Administration Thursday, passing a temporary funding bill that Democrats saw as evidence Republicans are feeling heat from the public over obstructionist tactics.

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) had threatened to block the bill after the GOP-led House added it to a larger temporary extension of highway funding that was set to expire on Friday.

Coburn argued that the part of the highway bill that funds road beautification was wasteful pork, and wanted it stripped.


A Bloomberg poll released Thursday found that the public is laying the bulk of the blame for such governmental gridlock on the GOP, with some 45 percent of Americans saying so.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) argued that GOP leaders were beginning to understand that.

“The public sent a message after the debt-ceiling debate. They said they didn’t want brinksmanship. We’re beginning to see that,” Schumer said, noting that the House sent the FAA and highway bills over without adding any poison pills or dramatic cuts.


Although Coburn backed down, Schumer argued that GOP leaders need to do a better job reining in lawmakers like Coburn and Tea Party leaders like Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.).

“If the Republican leader were to say to Tom Coburn, ‘I am not giving you the votes, you don’t have 40 other colleagues to go with you,’ he would stop doing these things,” Schumer said. “But every time a Sen. Coburn or a Sen. DeMint wants to hold everything up, they have the tacit backing of his party and his leadership, so they’re all holding this up in a certain sense.”

“The brinksmanship that they exercised on the debt ceiling and the negative reaction to it seems to have given them second thoughts,” he added.


Filed under Charles Schumer, Congress, Democrats, Harry Reid, humor, Lamar Alexander, movies, parody, politics, Republicans, Senate, snark, Tom Coburn, Wordpress Political Blogs

22 responses to “Coburnt

  1. John Erickson

    Do I maybe smell a bit of common sense oozing back into the GOP consciousness? Pity they can’t get a massive dose of common sense AND leadership, but I guess ya gotta take what you can get.
    So how are the fingernails, Nonnie? If you want, I’ll try to arrange a vacation by you, and refinish that desk you dug your fingernails through. 😉 😀

    • sara

      That’s a lot to ask for, John, but just maybe……

      • John Erickson

        I gotta hope, my fingers are cramping from keeping them crossed! 😀
        If only it could be beat into them – I have a World War 1 rifle I’ve always wanted to practice butt=stroking people with…..

      • even a broken clock is correct twice a day. then again, when it comes to some of the rethugs, the clock’s hands have fallen off, so they’re never correct (though always far right). 😉

    • no common sense, some kind of spidey sense that they might lose their seats (or future lobbyist jobs) if they lose their last shred of what might pass for sanity.

      the fingernails aren’t any better, but the desk seems to have healed! 😯

  2. Is that snakeskin Coburn is wearing? Too apropos. They’ll burn the country down if they can get away with it.

    • i think it’s a shirt encasing snakeskin! 😉

      they would burn down the country, if only so that corporations could buy everything cheap in the ensuing fire sale.

  3. jeb

    Bike paths! We don’t need no stinking bike paths!

    Isn’t he the jerk who landed his private aircraft illegally in Texas nearly taking out a work crew some time ago? I’m sure it’s not that he has a personal score to settle with those damned bureaucrats at the FAA or anything, right?

  4. The latest California in-state polling today gives the congress a 9% approval rating. As long as the senate allow this one man block crap, nothing will get done. But they have but one mission in life-destroy the prez. Then they will be free to establish a theocracy, not that they follow the word or anything. They seem to be set to destroy govt. departments one by one-and the post office is next on the list. We will be the laughingstock of the entire earth.

    • i think they really want a corpocracy, but they’ll set up a theocracy in order to achieve their real goal. slather the unwashed masses with religion, and then tell them that jesus wants them to work under crappy conditions for almost nothing. suffering is good for the soul.

  5. Snoring Dog Studio

    Common sense coming back to the Republican party? Not so much. When their ultimate goal is to keep Obama as a one-term president and take over the Senate, common sense doesn’t have room next to all the cynicism packed in their briefcases. Or, it’s just politics barely disguising itself as common sense.

    But I agree wholeheartedly with Robert Reich: We Democrats and Progressives cannot fall prey to the cynicism and hatred of government that the opposing parties are promoting. If we do, we hand it over to them in 2012. The thought of that is horrific. So, I believe more and more that we rational folks who believe that dismantling government, getting rid of Social Security, turning our backs on the poor, making the conversation more about the debt and less about jobs are NOT going to strengthen our society – need to and must make our voices heard by our Representatives in government. Call, write, make yourselves a nuisance. I’m starting that today.

    • preach it, sds! the problem with dems is that they’re too quiet. we are the real silent majority, and screw the tiny percentage of asswipes who think they are going to take over this country, and screw the crappy media who are helping them do it.

  6. jean-philippe

    Some politicians about to retire want to leave a great legacy. Some like Coburn and Kyl are just trashing the place knowing they won’t be held accountable for it.

  7. okjimm

    //even a broken clock is correct twice a day//

    which is whay I keep my broke at 12… beer time

  8. tom coburn is a total ass – then again so are the other 46 republicans so the senate must be a really stinky place these days.

    we dont have a broken govt – we have no govt – we have court jesters and carnival barkers looking for the next deal and the check post-govt. and the people eat this entertinment up – hence it continues. if americans really wanted to change things they would – they would protest, sit-in, strike, vote out the coburns and really do something – but we dont – writing to congressmen is a good idea but it doesnt do anything – action is needed. these people like coburn WORK for us and are PAID by us. the only way to fix things is to actually do something and not wait for the plumber to show up.

    enough of my anger for the day

    • i totally agree, dcAp. where are the marches in washington and every state capital? the teabaggers, even though they were financed by the koch brothers, are a miniscule percentage of the population. they were loud, but the rest of us together would drown them out. if people were really serious about changing things, there would be a viable third party.