“Sen. Tom Coburn, R-OK, and Sen. Arlen Specter, R-PA, engaged in a dialogue on the Senate floor earlier this week regarding the former’s amendment to transfer $60 million previously appropriated for a Japanese garden at an Atlanta federal building to the AIDS Drug Assistance Program. Their exchange provides a vivid demonstration of the warped priorities encouraged by pork barrel culture in Congress…Coburn then noted that “the CDC has just completed a $62 million visitors center. I am asking for $60 million for people who have HIV, who are never going to get to the visitors center. I do not how we spent $62 million on a visitors center for the CDC but I believe that priority is wrong when people are dying from HIV and do not have the available medicines.”
Sen. Specter then responded to Coburn by first claiming there was not Japanese garden spending at the CDC facility in Atlanta, but then upon being corrected by a staffer, acknowledging that “maybe there could be a less expensive exotic garden than a Japanese garden.””
We could do with a few less expensive senators too.