OH Sen. Portman talks of defense cuts with base

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — U.S. Sen. Rob Portman has visited Ohio's largest military installation to discuss the potential impact of anticipated defense spending cuts on the base.

Portman met Monday with officials at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton where he said Congress is still working on the issue.

Col. Cassie Barlow, a military leader at the base, says the cuts are expected to force unpaid leave for almost all the base's 13,000 workers. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has said most of the military's 800,000 civilian workers could be forced to take unpaid leave.

The cuts are to start automatically Friday.

The Obama administration says about 26,000 of the military's civilian employees in Ohio would be furloughed, reducing total wages by about $161 million.

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