A few items that caught our attention today:
• Officials at some of the area’s largest defense-contracting firms this week projected a rare bit of confidence that lawmakers will reach a deal to avoid the automatic spending cuts known as sequestration, according to an article in the Washington Post by Marjorie Censer.
• President Obama plans to let his jobs council expire this week without renewing its charter, doing away with a source of input from the business community despite unemployment remaining stubbornly high and GDP shrinking, the Associated Press reported.
• The Defense Department’s top policy administrator on Thursday assured colleagues that furloughs are not a sure thing for the agency’s civilian workforce and that media reports on the topic have “included many inaccuracies.”
• The question of whether U.S. borders are secure enough has become central to the debate over how to overhaul national immigration policy, according to an article from Washington Post White House reporter David Nakamura.
• Pentagon reporter Ernesto Londoño covered former Sen. Chuck Hagel’s confirmation hearing on Thursday, explaining how the maverick Republican defended his controversial remarks on Israel and his 2007 Senate vote against the U.S. troop surge in Iraq.
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