Air Force exempts Oklahoma tornado victims from federal furloughs

Members of Oklahoma's congressional delegation are praising the Air Force for exempting Tinker Air Force Base civilian personnel from furloughs if their homes were destroyed in the recent tornadoes.

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe announced Monday that the Air Force had invoked a rule called "Alternate Safe Haven Authorities" that allows those whose homes were declared inhabitable to be spared from furloughs. The Department of Defense is planning to furlough civilian employees for 11 days as a result of federal budget cuts.

Inhofe says the decision is another "gesture of the benevolence and compassion" our country is demonstrating for the people of Oklahoma.

Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley said in a statement that "the least we can do is remove this additional burden."