Pentagon notifies Congress of likely furloughs
WASHINGTON (AP) — Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told Congress on Wednesday that if automatic government spending cuts kick in on March 1 he may be compelled to furlough the "vast majority" of the Defense Department's 800,000 civilian workers.
He also said the across-the-board spending reductions would "put us on a path toward a hollow force," meaning a military incapable of fulfilling all of its missions.
In a written message to employees, Panetta said that he notified members of Congress Wednesday that if the White House and Congress cannot strike a deficit reduction deal before March 1 to avoid the furloughs, all affected workers will get at least 30 days' advance notice.
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