Pentagon furlough plan could affect 30,000 in Washington



SEATTLE — More than 30,000 defense workers in Washington would have their paychecks cut about 20 percent from late April through September under the furlough plan announced Wednesday by the Pentagon.

The Seattle Times reports the plan would affect about 16,200 civilian workers at Joint Base Lewis-McChord and 16,000 Northwest civilian Navy employees, most of whom work in Washington.

The Defense Department hopes a 9 percent cut in the civilian employee payroll in Washington would save about $175 million.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told Congress on Wednesday he would have to cut payroll on a total of 800,000 civilian workers if automatic government spending cuts kick in on March 1. The cuts would save $4 billion to $5 billion by the end of September.