Back in Oklahoma to promote his new report on federal spending, U.S. Sen. James Lankford said Friday there's a lot of waste in Washington.
The report is called "Federal Fumbles: 100 Ways the Government Dropped the Ball." It's a continuation of former Sen. Tom Coburn's annual waste book. Coburn was known for his pet project each year, pointing out where he felt Congress should rein in spending.
“His challenge was why aren't there 535 of these? Why doesn't every office put out some sort of waste book, with which I completely agree,” Lankford asked.
The senators said most of the fumbles are redundancies, shifting funds as stop gap measures and over regulation by the federal government. But there are others, like a festival called Silent Shakespeare in Virginia, that he said is a waste of federal dollars.
“It's not a problem to have a silent Shakespeare event, just why do the people of Oklahoma have to pay for the silent Shakespeare event that's happening in Virginia?” Lankford said.
Much of the problem starts in a deeply divided Congress, which just passed another continuing budget measure to fund the country for the next two years, Lankford said. A measure is steering the country in the wrong direction and lacks long term vision.
“It is a real problem to put this budget into effect because it does not solve the basic issues we face as a nation,” he said.
He said it's a time for leadership. He complimented the new Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI), but wouldn't give his pick for president. He only said there have been a few stand outs this election cycle like Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) as well as retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson.
But mostly he noted the number of candidates and praised the amount of diversity seen on stage.
“You see a lot of individuals,” he said. “You not only see a lot of diversity in the race but a lot of people with ideas.”