Hagel brings bad budget news to Charleston visit

By BRUCE SMITHAssociated Press

JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says there is no good news when it comes to the Defense Department's budget.

Hagel toured Joint Base Charleston, meeting Wednesday with about 300 civilian defense workers. He explained the mandated federal cuts led to 11-day furloughs this year for civilian workers.

Hagel says an additional $52 billion cut is coming next year unless things change, and that will mean layoffs.

Hagel says he is being honest with workers and will try everything he can to make the cuts as painless as possible. He says the best way to change things is for workers to call their congressmen and senators.

Hagel is on a 3-day trip to domestic bases. After leaving Charleston, he was heading to Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.

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