800,000 Defense Workers Face Furloughs

Source: Barbara Starr / CNN

Washington – Nearly 800,000 civilian workers would be forced to take one day of leave per week without pay if automatic spending cuts go into effect as scheduled, the Defense Department told Congress Wednesday.

The furloughs would start in the last week of April and last for 22 weeks, according to the Pentagon plan. It’s unclear what would happen after 22 weeks.

The Pentagon’s plan is in response to the mandatory, across-the-board federal budget cuts, known as sequestration, that are set to begin on March 1. The cuts, mandated by a 2011 agreement to raise the federal debt ceiling, will take effect unless lawmakers come up with another deficit reduction plan.

The workers who would be furloughed could include office staff, aircraft and ship maintenance workers, schoolteachers and medical staff.

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