Pentagon Won’t Extend Civilian Furloughs, May Cut Troops

Monday, 01 Apr 2013 06:53 PM

By Greg Richter

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The Pentagon now says it won’t extend civilian furloughs into 2014 as they had just last week hinted at. But it might cut troops.

The Pentagon’s share of sequestration budget cuts totals $41 billion, but The Hill reports that DOD Comptroller Bob Hale said on Monday the department would pursue "long-term options" to finance its share of the bill instead of extending furloughs.

Those options, Hale said, could include troop cuts and "involuntary separations" of service members, WFED Radio reported.

"But we want to start doing this with more of a scalpel and less of a meat axe. We'll have to get smaller and we'll have to look at some areas where we can take some more risk," he added.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel recently announced that the DOD will furlough 750,000 civilian employees for 14 days rather than the 22 days first predicted. The 14-day furloughts are expected to save $2.5 billion, half of what would have been saved with 22-day furloughs, according to Pentagon figures.

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