POLITICS
12/22/2013 12:29 pm ET Updated Jan 25, 2014

Tom Coburn Criticizes Bipartisan Efforts For Enabling 'Status Quo'

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) spoke out Sunday against the narrative that bipartisanship is good for government, telling NBC's David Gregory that the recent budget deal enables the "status quo" of "ineffective" government.

Appearing on NBC's "Meet the Press," Coburn said "the reason we're in trouble" is not because of divided political opinion, but because of political compromise.

"So the story coming out of Washington is we don't get along? I would dispute that," Coburn said. "We get along just fine with the status quo of the government being ineffective and inefficient."

Coburn continued, "So we pass a bill that raises spending and raises taxes and denies what we promised the American people. And everybody says, 'Oh my goodness, how great.' You grew the government some more and you charge us more taxes and you didn't fix any of the problems."

The budget deal reached by Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) faced criticism from both sides of the aisle. However, the measure passed both the House and Senate, and was met with praise from President Barack Obama.

Coburn was one of the bill's Republican critics.

“I'm real disappointed in the deal,” Coburn said during an appearance on MSNBC earlier this month, criticizing the plan for not doing enough to reduce government waste. “I'm sure it’s the best Paul could get, but it's not anything I can support.”

In the "Meet the Press" interview, Gregory asked Coburn if congressional Republicans would again demand concessions in exchange for agreeing to raise the debt ceiling this spring, as Ryan said they would do last week.

"I can't really speak for Republicans," Coburn said. "My thoughts are, the American people don't believe we have a debt ceiling, because we already increase it. And they don't believe we have the discipline in Washington."

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