Coburn to IRS: Find savings without furloughs

Coburn has sent a slew of letters to federal officials in recent weeks, detailing how agencies can better manage the automatic sequester cuts. The $85 billion in cuts, to be implemented over seven months, started going into effect at the start of March. 

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Treasury and IRS officials have said that IRS employees could face up to five to seven furlough days, starting in the summer, due to sequestration. Because the sequester cuts were meant to be unwieldy, agencies have limited leeway in how they can implement them. 

Steven Miller, the acting IRS commissioner, has also declared that the IRS will continue to work under a hiring freeze, and cut costs in areas like travel and training. 

Neal Wolin, then the acting Treasury secretary, said in February that furloughs would hurt customer service, and that the agency would have to roll back its efforts on counterterrorism and money laundering. 

Coburn’s letter also says reductions that would hit what he termed spending provisions in the tax code would be applauded. The Oklahoma Republican specifically mentioned an alternative energy tax credit that he said was doing more to create offshore jobs than domestic ones.