Pentagon chief can’t offer hope in budget cuts

JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. • The audience gasped in surprise and gave a few low whistles as Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel delivered the news that furloughs, which have forced a 20 percent pay cut on most of the military’s civilian workforce, probably will continue next year, and it might get worse. “Those are the facts of life,” Hagel told about 300 Defense Department employees, most of them middle-aged civilians, last week at an Air Force reception hall on a military base in Charleston. Future...

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