Military Cuts Loom as Late Obama Campaign Issue

For all the focus on the unemployment rate heading into…

For all the focus on the unemployment rate heading into the November elections, the layoffs that could most complicate President Barack Obama’s re-election prospects wouldn’t take effect until early next year.

Unless Congress and the White House reach a compromise by year-end, the Pentagon would have to slash roughly $50 billion more from the current fiscal-year budget in January. That prospect of wide layoffs could undercut Mr. Obama in battleground states heavily dependent on military spending, particularly Virginia.

Federal law requires companies to warn their employees of potential layoffs 60 days before they take effect, meaning thousands of workers could receive the warning notices on the Friday before the election.

The Obama administration, including Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, has warned about what these cuts would mean for military readiness and urged Congress to find savings elsewhere. But Mr. Obama has pledged to veto legislation offered by House Republicans in May that would roll back the military cuts using money saved by paring federal funds for food stamps, Medicaid and other social services.

Read more at The Wall Street Journal

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