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The Pentagon is moving to ease the pain of mandatory, unpaid furloughs that civilian employees have had to bear because of budgetary pressures. Defense officials are working to to cut the number of furlough days from 11 to 6.
Defense officials say the Pentagon found sufficient savings in the final months of the current fiscal year to lessen the burden on those who have had to take a day off a week — without pay — since early July.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel approved the final numbers this week after meeting with top leaders. Officials said last week that they would need to find about $900 million in savings in order to eliminate 5 of the 11 furlough days.
The decision comes as about 650,000 civilian workers began their fifth week of furloughs.
The 11 furlough days were expected to save roughly $2 billion.
Lawmakers in Virginia continue to resist the $9.6 billion Medicaid expansion on offer from the federal government as part of the Affordable Care Act.