The Buzz

NOW how do they feel about federal aid?

Updated: 2013-05-22T14:43:12Z

By STEVE KRASKE

The Kansas City Star

Inquiring minds want to know:

Where do Oklahoma’s two Republican senators stand on federal disaster relief for their state?

After all, Sens. Tom Coburn and James Inhofe were two of 36 senators who opposed a big chunk of the relief bill in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.

Their concern then: the high cost.

On Tuesday, Coburn said he would seek to balance any relief money with cuts to other parts of the budget.

But he said, now isn’t the time to figure it all out.

“It’s insensitive to even talk about it now,” Coburn told CNN. “It just shows the crassness of Washington versus the sensitivity that we need to have.”

Later, a Coburn spokesman said the senator’s chief concern is to make sure federal aid gets to where it’s needed and that it’s not wasted.

Inhofe, meantime, said another relief bill may not be needed because FEMA may already have enough money.

“We wouldn’t need an additional appropriations bill,” Inhofe said. “Everything’s in place right now.”

In December, Coburn told CNN that 64 percent of the Sandy relief money would not be spent before 2015.

“This is a stimulus bill, not an emergency bill,” he said.

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