Republican Sen. Tom Coburn, the Oklahoma conservative known for his ability to unilaterally gum up legislation on Capitol Hill, is shedding his contrarian image to emerge as a central figure in Washington’s newfound desire to trim the nation’s ballooning debt.
His vote last week to back the White House debt-reduction panel’s plan to cut $4 trillion in debt left some Republicans dumbfounded. Conservatives have called the plan a tax boost that violates GOP principles.
Rubbish, said Mr. Coburn. Instead, he warns of the dangers of a fiscal crisis enveloping the country if the plan isn’t acted on quickly.
“I’m scared to death of the potential that could unwind this country far greater than anything we’ve ever seen before and far sooner than anybody imagines,” Mr. Coburn said.