Department of Defense faces major budget cuts - WNCT

Department of Defense faces major budget cuts

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WASHINGTON -

Sequestration: It's a big Washington, DC word that means the government is preparing to cut 1.2 trillion dollars from the American budget starting March first, but the cuts are already hitting the military.

The USS Truman was scheduled to pull out of Norfolk, Virginia tomorrow to head to the Persian Gulf, but Wednesday afternoon word came that the Truman will stay in port in order to save money.

The pentagon is cutting us aircraft carriers presence overseas ahead of 55 billion dollars in budget cuts that kick in March first.

Outgoing defense secretary Leon Panetta says congress' inability to find a way to avoid the cuts has endangered America's security.

The idea behind sequestration was that the budget cuts were supposed to be so objectionable here on Capitol Hill that congress would agree on alternatives. That's proven to be easier said than done.

If Washington can't agree on a plan, some economists say up to one million people could lose their jobs.

Secretary Panetta says the Department of Defense is preparing to furlough as many as 800 thousand civilian workers and another 46 thousand face losing their jobs altogether as a result of the cuts to the military.

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