In Brief: In 2005, Tom Coburn "Played Politics" with Hurricane Katrina:
The bodies were still stinking up the streets of New Orleans when Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn said that budget cuts would be needed in order to offset the cost of immediate relief to the victims of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. On September 1, 2005, Coburn's statement of sympathy with the ravaged Gulf Coast included this: "Congress needs to go to work now to pay for this massive relief effort with offsetting cuts in other spending bills." Coburn would beat this drum continuously, through all the relief efforts on Katrina.
White House Budget Director Joshua Bolten said, in answer to a reporter's question about Coburn's suggestion, "[I]t's just not realistic to expect that we can offset in other portions of the budget such large amounts, and expect not to cause very, very deep disruptions in other portions of the budget." At the time, most people thought it was horribly insensitive and grossly political.
By the way, in the same September 1, 2005 statement, while people were starving at the Superdome and stranded on highway overpasses, Coburn mentioned how the disaster would make oil and gas prices go up. And he added, "For too many years Congress has allowed misguided environmentalists to block the expansion of our domestic refinery and nuclear power capabilities. Relying too heavily on foreign sources of oil is not only an economic problem but a national security problem." You got that, right? In a press release where he said he had sympathy for the victims of a massive hurricane, Sen. Tom Coburn decided to slam environmentalists because gas prices might get too high. In right-wing rhetoric, that would be while they were still looking for the dead in the destroyed houses. Timing is everything, no?
So, really, conservatives, if you had any shame, you'd not fucking say another pathetic word about liberals mentioning climate change as it relates to, you know, a fucking climate event like the Moore tornado.