Coburn criticized the government for wasteful military spending, citing Pentagon funded research into how babies and robots interact as an example of inefficiency.
Also on his target list is the Pentagon’s operation of 64 schools on 16 military bases in the United States — at a cost he pegs at $50,000 per student, or four times the cost elsewhere. And he wants to do away with tuition assistance programs, grocery store operations and alternative-energy research.
Coburn blames Congress for creating many of the programs, such as medical research, that now have taken on a life of their own.
“Congress is a failure when it comes to oversight,” he said. “Beneath that, we’re a failure when it comes to legislation.”
But, when asked whether he would seek to amend the defense authorization bill (S 3254) or some other measure to put some of his recommendations into action, Coburn said he would be drafting some amendments, but he did not sound optimistic there would be time on the Senate’s crammed calendar for them to be considered.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.