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Last week, he said that even as agencies face furloughs, the federal government posted 2,126 new job openings in the first week of the sequesters. He also has called on agencies to cancel conferences and travel before cutting important services.

Advocacy groups have sounded the alarm, rallying researchers to write letters to the editor and to call their members of Congress. But the sequesters appear to be here to stay.

Republicans and Democrats are trying to search for ways to offer flexibility to some agencies, but it’s unlikely that would blunt the deepest impacts on research. And Mr. Obama has turned his attention to trying to reach a broad deal that would raise taxes and cut entitlement spending, but it’s unclear whether that would restore any of the discretionary funding that’s been cut by the sequesters.

That puts the attention back on specific spending decisions by the Obama administration — an area where Mr. Coburn has offered plenty of suggestions.

Last week he said that even as agencies face furloughs, the federal government posted 2,126 new job openings in the first week of the sequesters. And he has called on agencies to cancel conferences and travel before cutting important services.