Key dates for the furlough-wary: A timeline

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Sequester. Furloughs. Government shutdown. Debt default. These terms are very much on federal employees’ minds, based on reader comments on stories and the results of a recent Government Executive poll. Nearly 70 percent of more than 4,000 respondents to the Jan. 24 poll said they thought the across-the-board budget cuts known as sequestration would lead to furloughs at their agency.

But, specific information about the threat appeared to be lacking, with more than three-quarters of respondents noting their agency had not officially explained sequestration to them. And with Congress frequently shifting the goal posts and postponing action on budget and fiscal matters for a few months at a time, it can be hard to sort out when various threats could become a reality and start to affect your pay check or job security.

Our timeline lays out a few critical deadlines you might want to watch. We will update it as dates continue to shift.

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