The Senate today defeated an amendment to removed a section of the proposed Defense Authorization Act requiring 5 percent cuts to Defense Department contractors and civilian employees.

Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), who introduced the amendment, said the measure would have shielded 36,000 civilian jobs and tens of thousands of contractor positions over the next five years.  

The proposed Defense Authorization Act does not specify how much the Defense Department would have to reduce civilian and contractor personnel numbers, but rather how much the agency would have to trim spending in those areas. The cuts would match the Defense Department’s proposed cuts for spending on military personnel.

President Obama aligned himself with Cardin last week by opposing the requirement for five percent cuts for defense contractors and civilians.

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