Defense officials say senior Pentagon leaders are taking a new look at sharply reducing the number of unpaid furlough days department civilians will have to take in the coming months, hoping to cut the current number of 14 by as much as half.

Digital Vision., Getty Images

The officials say no decision has been made. They don't rule out efforts to eliminate the furloughs. The renewed talks come as the Navy continues to push for eliminating required furloughs for Navy civilians. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to discuss the issue publicly.

Defense officials are reviewing a range of options to determine how many furlough days they can cut since the Pentagon now has more flexibility in how it allocates the congressionally mandated spending cuts for this year.


(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)