Coburn: Congress Great at Reacting to a Scandal, Bad at Preventing Them

Apr 22, 2012 3:16pm

Sen. Tom Coburn said today that he is satisfied with the Obama administration response to the Secret Service scandal but emphasizes that Congress should not overreact in a way that would harm the agency.

“I’m not critical to what the administration has done thus far,” the Republican from Oklahoma said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “I think the important thing is that we not allow for an overreaction that would do more damage to the Secret Service.”

Lawmakers on the various committees that oversee the Secret Service have expressed unified outrage directed at the Secret Service agents, but have not directly blamed the administration for the agents’ alleged missteps.

While Coburn said he is displeased with the situation, he  said he believes members of Congress should also be held accountable, because Congress has a role in government oversight.

“Congress tends to react very well when there’s a problem, but they never anticipate the problem or do the oversight ahead of time,” he said.

Members of Congress on the Homeland Security Committee have received briefings from the Secret Service director and have held interviews with the press to update the public on the latest as the scandal unravels.

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, suggested today on “This Week” that scandals like this would happen less if there were more women in the Secret Service, while Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., quipped that “you can’t legislate stupidity.”

The House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform is investigating several Obama executive branch scandals, which include:  the pricey General Services Administration Las Vegas conference, the Solyndra Department of Energy loan scandal and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms’ “Fast & Furious” scandal.

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