Senator Suggests Cuts to Avoid Pentagon Furloughs

February 27, 2013

Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., called for the Pentagon to eliminate “unnecessary” jobs and programs in an effort to avoid furloughing “essential personnel,” should sequestration take effect March 1.

The ranking member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee pointed to eight Defense employees who serve on the Board of Geographic Names -- responsible for naming topographic features across the county -- and a 46-minute cooking program the Pentagon produced with the Agriculture Department as areas that should be cut.

“Before any of these more drastic actions are taken, there are a number of ways the Pentagon could achieve savings that don’t harm our national security readiness or our troops or DoD personnel from performing vital military functions,” Coburn wrote in a letter to Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter.

Coburn made his suggestions as part of an ongoing campaign to seek alternative cuts in place of forced, unpaid vacation for civilian Defense employees. The lawmaker previously recommended issuing a federal hiring freeze and cancelling a multi-agency, 100-city tour to promote grants to reach post-sequestration budget levels.

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