WASHINGTON (AP) -- A Pentagon official says civilian employees in the Defense Department could receive notices of potential layoffs four days before the election if automatic military cuts aren't averted.
Frederick Vollrath outlined the timeline Thursday for a House panel fearful of the impact from the across-the-board cuts that would kick in Jan. 2. He said Congress would be notified in mid-September and employees told of the possibility of job losses 60 days before the cuts. That's Nov. 2.
The Defense Department has about 800,000 civilian employees, heavily concentrated in the presidential battleground state of Virginia. The agency also has a significant number of employees at military bases in many other states.
These notices would come in addition to any that major defense contractors might send out, a prospect that unnerves the White House.