Sen. Coburn: There Will Be a Budget Deal

Lester Lefkowitz | Stone | Getty Images

As the federal budget deadline approaches, Congress will probably be able to forge a deal — at the 11th hour, Sen. Tom Coburn said Wednesday.

“I think we’ll go down to the wire, but I think there will actually be a compromise,” he said on CNBC’s “ The Kudlow Report .” “Congress is demonstrating it only works when there’s a crisis, which is a shame. People ought to ask what we’re doing here.”

Coburn made a pitch for leadership among lawmakers.

“Leadership is really important. This country has significant urgent problems in front of us,” he said. “The House has done a lot to address that. It has been totally ignored by the Senate, and that's not partisan, because Republicans have ignored some of these issues as well in the past during the Bush administration, so the fact is that shouldn’t we be addressing the very real problems, saving Medicare, saving Social Security, getting rid of the duplication waste and fraud, which is over $300 billion a year, reforming the tax code to have a real stimulus, which is private money having confidence and certainty to invest in our country, and then taking advantage of our natural resources?”

“If we had leadership, we would be doing all those things,” he said.

Coburn also criticized President Obama for not embracing Bowles-Simpson, saying it “showed a lack of leadership.”

The Oklahoma Republican proposed for tax reform in the style of the Reagan era.

“So if you reform the tax code, not by raising tax rates but by lowering tax rates and broadening the base, and if you save Medicare by reforming it and you save Social Security by reforming it, and if, in fact, you markedly decrease the wasteful discretionary spending that we have and the duplication, we can strike a balance,” he said.

Developing domestic oil and natural gas production could theoretically also save an additional $300 billion.

“That’s $300 billion that would be invested here and not sent overseas to Venezuela and the Middle East,” he said. “If you truly reformed the tax code and made it simple, you could save $300 billion that produces no wealth by what we spend to pay our taxes.”

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