Pentagon May Reduce Furlough Days

Defense Department file photo

Defense Department officials are considering reducing the number of mandatory, unpaid leave days civilians must take through September, the Associated Press reported, citing unnamed officials.

With few exceptions, Defense civilians have been scheduled to take one furlough day a week through the end of September, for a total of 11 in fiscal 2013. Officials are considering reducing that number to between six and eight, AP reported, as Defense began its fourth week of furloughs.

Officials do not expect a formal announcement about furlough reductions this week, AP said. They also cautioned that the reduction applied only through September.

Cvilian furloughs have been part of the department's effort to make broad budget cuts required under sequestration. Lawmakers approved the 10-year sequestration cuts in 2011, saying they would find a more targeted alternative savings strategy before across-the-board cuts began taking effect earlier this year; so far they have failed to agree an on an alternative.

If sequestration isn’t averted in fiscal 2014, Defense officials including Secretary Chuck Hagel have warned that the department will have to cut civilians jobs.  

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