McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

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March 4, 2013

Furloughs set to begin at McAAP

(Continued)

McALESTER —

Mullin also said the White House and President Obama received $60 billion in new revenue after the new Congress took office in January.

“He already spent $57 billion on Sandy the first week we were in session,” Mullin said, referring to disaster relief for the East Coast areas hit by the devastating hurricane. “What we’re doing now is sitting around and pointing fingers at each other, messing with real peoples’ lives,” Mullin said, referring to those who will be most impacted by sequestration.

He also said House members last week had met to see if they could come up with alternatives. “We can find money in other places. Do we want to pursue that? You never know if it’s going to happen,” he said.

In the days leading up to sequestration, Mullin said he and his staff were in contact with McAAP’s leadership “We have talked to the colonel several times,” he said. “Several people from unions came up here.” Despite the meetings, it’s still unknown how many ways McAAP will be effected if the sequestration measures go into full effect.

“There isn’t a good grasp” of what could happen, Mullin said. Congress will next face the issue of passing a continuing resolution to keep the government funded. “With the continuing resolution vote, we’re going to give flexibility to the military to make its own decisions,” Mullin said — a reference to letting the military service chiefs decide where the cuts would cause the least harm.

“The Joint Chiefs of Staff came together and that’s what they’re asking for,” Mullin said. Even if that occurs, Mullin concedes it won’t solve the problems caused by sequestration. “That’s making the best of a very bad situation,” Mullin told the News-Capital. He addressed the issue further with a statement released from his office.

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