Sen. Coburn: Sequestration will happen

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) speaks to a journalist at the U.S. Capitol September 19, 2012 in Washington, DC.
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) speaks to a journalist at the U.S. Capitol September 19, 2012 in Washington, DC.
Alex Wong/Getty Images

The government may have averted sequestration in December, but it won’t avoid it for long, according to Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla.

“We’re gonna have a sequestration. we’re gonna have some pain because the politicians on the Hill aren’t going to make cogent, smart decisions about alternatives to this until they start feeling some pain,” Coburn said on Wednesday’s Morning Joe. “It’s a stupid way to govern, but that’s the way we’re doing it right now. I think the blame lies on everyone’s shoulders including the president’s. Then we’re going to start coming around and picking and choosing what’s important and eliminating what’s not of great value and what we can’t afford.”

Coburn believes the pain is necessary to motivate both sides into making tough cuts and hard choices.

“Sequestration will be some very bitter medicine that will draw some people to their senses,” he said. “People will start getting pressure from home and all of a sudden people’s positions are gonna change a bit and become a lot more cooperative.”

He noted that eliminating wasteful spending won’t fix all of the government’s problems, adding that reforming Medicare and implementing a more competitive healthcare cost model is necessary.

NBC News’ Chuck Todd expanded on Coburn’s point, noting that there are 27 days between the date of Sequester and when the government runs out of money, a period Congress may use as a “trial sequester.”

“Sequester will happen on March 1, then the markets will react negatively, there will be some quick pain and over the 27 day period between sequester on March 1 and the government running out of money on March 27th then maybe you’ll see some action where they ‘fix the sequester,’” Todd added. “It’s why Republicans in the House feel comfortable letting it happen because they know they have 26 days to fix it.”