Sens. Tom Coburn, R-Muskogee, and Jim Inhofe, R-Tulsa, voted Wednesday for the House Republican budget that would change Medicare from a government health care program into one in which seniors would be given money to buy private health insurance. The Republican budget, authored by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, failed in the Senate by a vote of 40-57. The Senate and House don’t typically vote on each other’s budgets, but Senate Democratic leaders, smelling blood on the Medicare issue, brought it up to force Republicans to take a stand on it. Five Republicans voted against it; all Democrats present opposed it.
Inhofe said, “Congress must address our nation’s growing fiscal crisis and stop Washington’s runaway spending.
“The Republican budget proposals we voted on today would reduce our deficits and balance our budget. The House Republican plan is a bold plan, and it makes the difficult spending choices that we must make. It also cuts domestic spending down to the 2008 level and caps it there, which is nearly identical to the HELP Act bill I introduced last year.
“We also voted today on President Obama’s 2012 budget plan, which is no plan at all. It increases spending by $8.7 trillion and offers no proposal to balance the budget. Not a single member of the U.S. Senate voted for his budget. The sooner Senate Democrats stop playing games and come to terms with the reality that Washington has a spending problem, the better.”