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White House discourages layoff warnings

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The White House is again discouraging defense contractors from warning their workers about potential layoffs from across-the-board budget cuts that are set to take place on Jan. 2.

The Office of Management and Budget says the government will cover the legal costs of any contractors that might face liability if they have to lay off workers without giving them a warning. OMB says it's too speculative to issue warnings now because it's not known whether cuts will actually take effect.

The Obama administration has sought to quell the fear of mass defense layoffs in presidential battlegrounds like Virginia, where alarm about job warning notices being sent in early November could discourage thousands of defense workers from backing the incumbent.

Republicans are denouncing the latest guidance as politically motivated.

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