ROBERT BURNS, National Security Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) - A top Pentagon official says that if Congress does not come up with a way to avoid mandatory budget cuts by March 1, hundreds of thousands of Pentagon civilian employees will face furloughs and reduced paychecks by April.
Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter told a small group of reporters Friday that the furloughed employees would lose one day of work per week for the remainder of the budget year, which ends in September.
The Pentagon has about 800,000 civilian employees; they have not yet been officially notified of furloughs. Carter said the furloughs would be expected to save $5 billion.
Carter said the Pentagon already is eliminating all 46,000 of its temporary civilian workers in anticipation of budget cuts.
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