Jon Stewart owes Senator Tom Coburn an apology. Josh Rogin reports that Stewart falsely accused Coburn of holding up $1 billion in aid money to Haiti. "Stewart's rant was based on this Sept. 28. AP article. Referencing that, Stewart called Coburn an "'international a**hole of mystery,'" Rogin reports.
The problem is that Coburn's hold is not responsible for delaying the $1.15 billion Congress already appropriated in late July to help Haiti. That bill, which is totally separate from the one Coburn is holding up, was the supplemental appropriations act signed by President Obama on July 29. Authorization bills, like the one that Coburn objects to, are useful for setting out Congressional direction on how money should be spend, but aren't strictly necessary to the disbursement of the funds. The appropriations bills are the ones that actually spend the money.
Even the State Department acknowledges that Coburn is not responsible for the delay in this tranche of funds for Haiti.
"Senator Coburn's hold is not related to the $1.15 billion pledge made by the administration in March," State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley told The Cable. He explained that the State Department and Congress are still working on how exactly to spend the money, totally apart from Coburn's hold on the separate authorization bill.
Hat tip: Jennifer Rubin.