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Oklahoma Senators Vote Against Bill To Raise Debt Ceiling

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U.S. Senators Jim Inhofe and Tom Coburn. U.S. Senators Jim Inhofe and Tom Coburn.
WASHINGTON -

The Senate gave the go ahead to raise the debt ceiling, averting a possible economic crisis Thursday.

H.R. 325 passed the Senate 64-33. It will increase the federal government's debt limit through May 19, 2013. The house has already passed the bill, so it's headed to President Barack Obama, who says he will sign it.

Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn voted against the bill, saying we've got to do something about our spending.

Senator Jim Inhofe also voted against the bill Thursday.

He said it failed to deliver on spending cuts.

"While I am pleased this bill included an enforcement mechanism that will require Senate Democrats to pass a budget, this bill provided a debt limit increase without any spending cuts," said Inhofe. "After we addressed tax policy with the deal to avert the fiscal cliff earlier this year, my highest priority has been to leverage a debt limit increase with at least dollar-for-dollar spending reductions. I believe that any increase in the debt limit should be tied directly to spending cuts. This bill failed to do that, which is why I voted against it. The budgetary problems of this nation are astounding, with defense sequestration coming, non-discretionary spending rapidly expanding, and a skyrocketing debt continuing. We must work diligently to address both and put the federal budget on a path to balance."

Thursday, Senator Coburn told lawmakers he has a plan to cut nearly $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years.

"I'm gonna build a case almost every day, as I come out here, on why we can't keep doing what we're doing, and show the case, basically, the case of stupidity for how the federal government is running today," Coburn said.

Senator Coburn pointed out dozens of duplicate programs being run by different agencies.

He said the worst part is we're spending all this money and we don't even know if the programs are working.

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