State leaders, including Fallin, have raised concerns about the possible impact that cuts to federal spending would have on Oklahoma, particularly how defense spending cuts would affect the state's five military installations. Those spending cuts, which were expected to start hitting the Pentagon and domestic agencies this week, have been delayed for two months.
Oklahoma Treasurer Ken Miller said if the defense spending cuts take effect, some studies have suggested Oklahoma could lose up to 20,000 jobs, including 4,000 military positions.
“This would be devastating to Oklahoma and can be avoided if Congress implements strategic rather than across-the-board spending cuts,” Miller said in a statement.
Oklahoma's entire congressional delegation, except for U.S. Rep. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma City, voted in favor of the measure to avoid the fiscal cliff.
In a letter to his constituents after Tuesday's vote, Lankford said while there were compelling reasons to approve the measure, he didn't believe it did enough to slow the nation's “mushrooming debt.”
“At the end of the day, our debt is not a Democrat or Republican problem, it is an American problem, and it will require significant spending restraint to resolve,” Lankford wrote. “Unfortunately, the bill that passed tonight does not move us forward toward solving the $16.4 trillion national debt that looms over every American.”
Sean Murphy can be reached at www.twitter.com/apseanmurphy