Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe looks for ways to blunt impact of spending cuts as deadline nears

Sen. Jim Inhofe sought support Wednesday for a bill to give flexibility in making cuts, while Sen. Tom Coburn says cuts could be made with “a drop of common sense” and some cooperation.

By Chris Casteel | Published: February 28, 2013

WASHINGTON — Sen. Jim Inhofe scrambled Wednesday to find support for a proposal to give the military some room to maneuver if deep spending cuts are triggered Friday, as leaders from both parties continued to blame each other for not reaching an agreement on spending and taxes.

Inhofe, R-Tulsa, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, wants to shield the Defense Department from the worst effects of the cuts by giving the Obama administration some leeway in shifting funds around.

The department has warned that it might have to furlough nearly 800,000 civilian employees, including 24,000 in Oklahoma, for 22 days between late April and late September and cut back on maintenance and training.

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