Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn loses bid for federal hiring freeze

Republican senator argues that federal agencies have posted thousands of job openings for positions like painters and travel specialists while current employees are facing furloughs.
by Chris Casteel Published: March 15, 2013
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Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., said a hiring freeze wouldn't solve the budget problems at federal agencies and would be “one more blow to a battered civil service.”

In regard to the travel specialist, she said employees at the Health and Human Services have to travel and that booking flights now is like trading commodities.

“Should (HHS Secretary Kathleen) Sebelius be doing that on her own?” Mikulski said. “I don't think so.”

Coburn and Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Tulsa, authored several amendments to the spending bill, which will give the Department of Defense and a handful of other federal departments more flexibility in dealing with the spending cuts; however, Senate action stalled for much of Thursday as they waited to offer them.

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by Chris Casteel
Washington Bureau
Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. After covering the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City, he moved to Washington in 1990, where...
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