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Panetta: Defense furloughs would be 'disruptive and damaging' (+video)

In a letter Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told Congress there were no 'viable alternatives' to putting civilian defense employees on furlough should scheduled budget cuts take effect on March 1. President Obama spoke in favor of avoiding the cuts on local television around the country, Wednesday. 

Who and what would be cut by goverment furloughs?
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Defense Secretary Leon Panetta formally notified Congress on Wednesday that the Pentagon plans to put civilian defense employees on unpaid leave this year if $46 billion in across-the-board U.S. government spending cuts take effect on March 1.

The announcement of congressional notification begins a 45-day process that could ultimately lead to 22 days of unpaid leave for most of the department's 800,000 civilian employees around the globe.

In a letter released by House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner, Panetta said the furloughs would be "disruptive and damaging" to the Pentagon's defense mission, but there were no "viable alternatives" to reduce spending if the budget cuts occur.

 
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