With two months the fiscal year ends, the Pentagon is reportedly squeezing the military's budget in search of extra savings, looking to use that money to further reduce the number of furlough days for over 650,000 civilian defense workers.
The news came in a leak to the Associated Press, which quoted senior defense officials as saying that a drive to find new savings could result in a final total of six furlough days per employee.
Originally, the Pentagon said those civilian workers would have to take 22 furlough days; that was later cut down to eleven.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Defense officials tell The Associated Press that department civilians will likely face up to five fewer unpaid furlough days than originally planned, as Pentagon leaders scrimp to find up to $900 million in savings in the final months of the budget year that ends Sept. 30.
The officials say no final decisions have been made, but they believe civilian workers will take six to eight unpaid days off rather than 11. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.
They cautioned that the savings are for this year, and won't affect likely budget cuts in 2014.
As for the last line of that story - in other words - if the sequester isn't wiped away by the Congress, then the military will have to look to furlough days in Fiscal Year 2014, and maybe even layoffs to hold down the budget.
Democrats and the White House are calling on Republicans to accept a plan that includes new tax increases as a way of doing away with the $85 billion sequester, but Republicans say the tax hikes are a non-starter.