Congress Agrees to Cutting 36,000 Defense Department Civilians

December 19, 2012

A House-Senate conference committee has approved a bill that will force the Defense Department to cut about 36,000 civilian employees over the next five years.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., originally proposed the measure in the 2013 Defense authorization bill that now requires a 5 percent cut in the agency’s civilian workforce. It also requires a 5 percent cut in its contractor staff. The bill allows the Defense secretary to exclude critical positions — such as acquisition personnel and inspector general personnel — from the cuts, and to phase in the staffing reductions.

Leaders and members from the House and Senate Armed Services committees agreed Tuesday on the compromise version of the bill, which clears the Pentagon to spend $631 billion in 2013 — $552.2 billion in base budget monies and another $88.5 billion on ongoing global wars and other operations.

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