Senior Pentagon leaders are considering sharp reductions in the number of unpaid furlough days that civilian defense employees will have to take this year under the government-wide spending cuts that took effect on March 1, according to the Associated Press.

Officials have suggested they may be able to cut the number of furlough days from 14 to as few as seven, but they have not ruled out dropping the furloughs entirely, the AP said. The Pentagon initially said it would have to place employees on unpaid leave for 22 days.

A Defense Department spokesperson said that while further reducing the number of furlough days to seven was among a range of possibilities being considered, it is premature to say the reduction will happen.

“We continue to plan for up to 14 days of furlough with rough consistency across the department,” said Lt. Col. Elizabeth Robbins.

The renewed talks come as Navy leaders push to eliminate civilian furloughs for that branch of the military.For more on this development, see the AP story.