- Ted Cruz thanks Obama for denying visas to terrorists
- Survivors recall chaos, fear in Everest avalanche
- General Mills apologizes for ‘right to sue’ confusion, reverses policy
- Dealer wanted in U.S. for art fraud nabbed in Spain
- Easter morning delivery for space station
- Boxer Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter dies at 76
- Probe could complicate Rick Perry’s prospects
- Ukraine, Russia trade blame for eastern shootout
- Obamas head to church on Easter morning
- In Colorado, a pot holiday tries to go mainstream
Pentagon: Future furloughs likely if sequester remains
Though the Defense Department was able to reduce its civilian workers’ furloughs from 11 days to six, it can’t guarantee there won’t be more next year if automatic spending cuts remain in place.
“We’re still facing some major challenges,” a senior defense official said during a background briefing. “Faced with all of this uncertainty, we cannot be sure what will happen next year, but Secretary [Chuck] Hagel wants to assure our civilian employees that we’ll do everything possible to avoid imposing furloughs again next year.”
About 650,000 Pentagon civilians had been required to take 11 days of unpaid leave by Oct. 1 in order to save the department about $1.8 billion. Defense officials announced Tuesday that that they had found enough money in the budget to reduce the furloughs to six days.
Furloughs for most employees will end next week, or after 48 hours of unpaid leave. Teachers in the Pentagon school system are exempted from the furloughs.
Officials denied that they had exaggerated how painful the spending cuts would be.
“There’s a old saying in the budget world that time is the best budget analyst. If you wait longer, you’ll know more. And we do know more than we did three months ago,” a senior defense official said.
Under the automatic spending reduction measure called sequestration, the Pentagon is required to cut about $500 billion from its budget over the next decade.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Kristina Wong is a national security reporter for The Washington Times, covering defense, foreign policy and intelligence affairs. She can be reached at email@example.com.
- Despite Pentagon cuts and eye on Pacific, Air Force implored to save the 'Warthog'
- Pentagon welcomes budget deal but says more defense spending needed
- Rep. Hunter to Pentagon: Don't lower combat standards for women
- Scientists raise alarm over plan to destroy Syria's chemical weapons at sea
- Hagel renews Qatar defense pact despite differences over Iran, Syria
TWT Video Picks
Women losing coverage under Obamacare, too
- Scalia to students on high taxes: At a certain point, 'perhaps you should revolt'
- Former Ranger breaks silence on Pat Tillman death: I may have killed him
- Special Forces' suicide rates hit record levels casualties of 'hard combat'
- Feds approve powdered alcohol; 'Palcohol' available later this year
- U.S. Navy to turn seawater into jet fuel
- Justice at last: 'Evil woman' outed for grabbing girl's game ball
- CHARLES: Holder's undermining of the law deserving of contempt
- Army goes to war with National Guard, seizes Apache attack helicopters
- Jews being told to register in Ukraine: John Kerry
- EDITORIAL: Republicans finally fight back in phony 'war on women'
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.