CONCORD, N.H. — The U.S. senators from Maine and New Hampshire say pending furloughs at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard are the product of an entirely avoidable situation in Washington.

New Hampshire Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Kelly Ayotte and Maine Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King released a statement Tuesday, responding to reports indicating the Defense Department plans to issue furlough notices to civilian workers, including those at the Kittery shipyard.

The senators said it’s disappointing that Congress and President Barack Obama failed to replace the automatic spending cuts known as “sequestration” with a plan to stabilize debt and deficits. They said a bipartisan and long-term deficit reduction solution is needed to avoid the impacts of the cuts, which are already threatening jobs and families in Maine and New Hampshire.

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