The furloughs being faced by Pentagon workers are now said to be less severe than initially expected.
Word from the Department of Defense may be good news to hundreds of thousands of workers facing possible furloughs.
Defense officials told the Associated Press that the Pentagon will sharply cut the number of unpaid furlough days civilians will have to take in the next several months from 22 to 14, reducing the financial impact of the budget cuts on as many as 700,000 workers.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel made the decision yesterday. Military and defense leaders continue to work through the details, trying to decide how to allocate the more than $10 billion Congress shifted to operations accounts.
Officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.
Initially, civilians would have had to take one day off each week without pay for 22 weeks — a 20 percent cut. Under the new plan, the unpaid furloughs would not begin until mid-June, with notices going out before that.