Sequestration could mean 800,000 furloughs for Defense Department’s civilian workers

The Pentagon has said it may have to order furloughs for up to 800,000 civilian employees if lawmakers failed to reach a debt-reduction deal to avoid the so-called “fiscal cliff,” according to a report from the Washington Post’s Ernesto Londoño.

A congressionally mandated fiscal retrenchment, or sequestration, would begin Wednesday if no agreement is reached before the end of 2012.

But lawmakers could find ways in coming weeks to allocate separate funding for the Pentagon even if the cuts take place, and neither party wants to see a dramatic cut in defense spending, Londoño reported.

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Josh Hicks covers Maryland politics and government. He previously anchored the Post’s Federal Eye blog, focusing on federal accountability and workforce issues.

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