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U.S. Senate clears spending bill to avert government shutdown

The House is expected to give final approval this week to legislation that will give the Pentagon and some other departments more flexibility to deal with deep spending cuts that went into effect this month.
by Chris Casteel Published: March 20, 2013

Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., who guided the bill through the Senate, said the legislation “protects national security while meeting compelling human needs.”

Inhofe said the military tuition assistance program, which his amendment restored, “is critical to recruiting and retention efforts, and improves the lives of our men and women seeking leadership growth within the military or those transitioning back into the civilian workforce.”

But he said the overall bill was “fraught with problems.”

“While certain patches were made to potentially mitigate some furloughs, it did not afford the full flexibility the service chiefs requested, leaving not only jobs at risk but also the readiness of our military,'' Inhofe said.

Coburn, referring to his unsuccessful amendment to take money from national heritage areas to fund White House tours and national parks, said, “I'm disappointed my colleagues prioritized wine train tours and Ukrainian Easter egg workshops ahead of tours to the White House and national parks.

“This vote shows that some in Washington are intent on essentially declaring war on tourists in order to prove an ideological point about sequestration … However, I'm pleased the Senate accepted an amendment that restricts funding to low-priority political science grants. There is no reason to spend $251,000 studying Americans' attitudes toward the U.S. Senate when citizens can figure that out for free.”

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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