Little says Hagel will make a furlough decision soon

Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said on Wednesday that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will soon decide on civilian furlough days in response to sequestration budget cuts.

Sequestration calls for cutting $37 to $40 billion from the Defense Department budget this fiscal year. Little said Hagel will be "reaching a decision in the near future" about how to tackle the issue of furlough days, which some services argue do not need to be used to successfully decrease the budget.

"There are different pockets of money in different places for each of the services," Little said. "To be totally straightforward, the math does work for some services to avoid some furloughs, at a minimum. For other services, it is harder."

The original proposal was to furlough civilian personnel for 22 days. The current estimate is 14 furlough days, with the option for exemptions being reviewed.

"You don't have a lot of choice, in some cases, over where to save money and where to cut," Little said. "The across-the-board cut is forcing some tough decisions. The goal of the furlough so far ... is to ensure, at least on this issue, there is some consistency."