Defense Secretary Leon Panetta gestures during a news conference at the Pentagon, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013. Panetta said he is asking his department to begin taking steps to freeze civil

 

              Defense Secretary Leon Panetta gestures during a news conference at the Pentagon, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013. Panetta said he is asking his department to begin taking steps to freeze civil
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta gestures during a news conference at the Pentagon, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013. Panetta said he is asking his department to begin taking steps to freeze civilian hiring, delay some contract awards and curtail some maintenance to prepare for drastic budget cuts if Congress can't reach an agreement on a final spending plan. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)