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Atty. Gen. Holder Sends Memo to Justice Dept. Employees on Possible Shutdown; FBI’s Mueller Complains About Potential Budget Shortfall


By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The prospect of a government shutdown over the budget is causing some unease at the Justice Department, which includes the FBI, DEA and ATF.

“Should it become necessary to implement our contingency plans, you will receive notice from your manager no later than Friday April 8th regarding the designation of your position and status,” Atty. Gen. Eric Holder Jr. wrote in a memo to Justice employees, who number more than 100,000. The memo was obtained by CNN.

That being said,  CNN reports that the Justice Department has unofficially said all employees involved in public safety will be considered essential employees who will continue to work.

That means all FBI personnel will work, and all 116 federal prisons will continue to operate, CNN reported.

But CNN reports that the Justice Department “will be forced to stop or curtail activities including most civil litigation, community outreach to victims of crime and the processing of grants.”

CNN said Holder told employees Wednesday that “as soon as funding lapses federal departments and agencies will not be permitted to incur further financial obligations performing activities funded by annual appropriations except those related to the orderly suspension of operations or performance of excepted activities.”

FBI Dir. Mueller testifies on Hill/ file photo

Meanwhile, FBI Director Robert Mueller told Congress Wednesday that the proposed short-term funding measure for the remainder of the year would create problems for the FBI in the area of intelligence, CNN reported.

“I can only say that under the proposed CR (continuing resolution) the FBI would be the only major partner in the intelligence community that is NOT fully funded. And while our intelligence community partners would be able to proceed with planned initiatives and programs, the Bureau (FBI) could not,” Mueller said, according to CNN.

CNN reported that Mueller also said: “We simply cannot afford to return to the pre-9/11 days where hiring and staffing at the FBI was a roller-coaster that left most field offices understaffed.” Mueller blamed pre-9/11 funding uncertainties for “degradation of the FBI’s physical and information technology infrastructure that contributed to shortcomings in our capabilities.”


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