U.S. defense cuts that begin in the 2012 budget will ultimately cost up to 800,000 jobs, and additional spending reductions could push that figure to 1.5 million over the next decade, a top Republican lawmaker testified Tuesday.
Representative Buck McKeon, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said his panel estimated the initial $489 billion in defense cuts approved by Congress would cost 100,000 military jobs, mostly Army and Marines, as well as 200,000 civilian defense jobs and 500,000 defense industry positions.

“We’re looking at … between 700,000 and 800,000 jobs,” McKeon told the House of Representatives Rules Committee during testimony about the compromise National Defense Authorization Act approved on Monday by House and Senate negotiators.