Federal News Radio reports the Senate voted 53-41 to strike down an amendment proposed by Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) to lift the requirement on the Pentagon to cut 5 percent of contractor and civilian workers over the next five years.
The White House is objecting to those cuts and is threatening to veto the National Defense Authorization Act in its current form, the report said.
According to Cardin, 36,000 civilians would lose their positions and cuts to the contractor workforce would result in tens of thousands more jobs lost.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who introduced the workforce reduction amendment, said on the floor that the Pentagon needs to reduce its numbers of civilian personnel because it is also cutting some military personnel as well, the station reports.
McCain also said Leon Panetta believes both military and civilian personnel need reductions, according to the report.