The Senate defeated an amendment to the Defense authorization bill that would have halted an effort to cut the department’s civilian and contractor workforces by an estimated 5 percent through fiscal 2017.
The failure of the amendment, offered by Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., means a provision that could slash up to 36,000 Defense jobs will remain in the Senate’s fiscal 2013 bill. The reduction in military personnel resulting from the end of the Iraq war and the drawdown in Afghanistan prompted Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., to include the language directing the Defense secretary to also shrink the civilian workforce and contractors by a rate that is at least equal to the percentage of funding saved from planned troop reductions. Defense is reducing the active-duty and reserve force by 31,300 between fiscal 2012 and fiscal 2013.
The Senate approved the bill Tuesday evening (12/4/2012). The House-passed version does not contain the provisions calling for a workforce reduction.
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