The Defense Department could cut as many as five furlough days from the 11 currently planned by the end of the fiscal year in September, according to an Associated Press report. The report, which cites only anonymous sources, says that Pentagon officials are looking at trimming the total number of unpaid days off to somewhere between six and eight. Hold your breath, though–no announcement is planned this week, according to the AP.
At present, about 650,000 DoD civilian employees are generally losing one day per week to the furloughs that began early this month; as Defense News is reporting, the furloughs–imposed as part of the Pentagon’s strategy for dealing with sequester-related budget cuts–are turning even routine business into a hassle. Meanwhile, DoD employees are flooding the Merit Systems Protection Board with thousands of appeals.
While Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has said for months that department officials hope to trim the total number of furlough days, the AP story suggests that they may actually be preparing to do so.