The FBI Agents Association on Wednesday warned of the potential risks to national security and public safety if across-the-board, automatic spending cuts kick in from the sequestration.
FBIAA President Konrad Motyka stated:
“The FBI Agents Association urgently calls on Congress and the White House to reach an agreement that would avoid sequestration and that would not undermine the important work done by FBI Agents to protect the public.
“Because the FBI budget includes both defense and non-defense expenditures, sequestration cuts could be more devastating to the Bureau and its Agents than any other federal agency.”
“According to FBI Director Robert Mueller, the $550 million across the board cuts to the Bureau ‘would have the net effect of cutting 2,285 employees – including 775 agents – through furloughs and a hiring freeze.’ These cuts would be ‘equivalent in size to closing the Bureau’s offices in Chicago, Miami and Baltimore.’
“These potential cuts would pose serious risks to national security and public safety. Director Mueller has stated that the FBI ‘would be required to do more with less in all its programs, including against al-Qaida and its affiliated groups, as well as the growing and sophisticated threats from cyberattacks, foreign intelligence and national and transnational criminal activities.
“Director Mueller also warned that the cuts would hurt the Bureaus ability to penetrate and disrupt terrorist groups prior to an attack, stall high priority investigations as workload is spread among a reduced workforce, and force the reduction of ‘in-theatre support in Afghanistan where U.S. military and coalition operations rely on FBI investigative and forensic programs.’
“FBI Agents are honored to serve and protect the public. Agents put their lives on the line to protect this country by combating a wide array of crimes ranging from street gangs to mortgage fraud, and from foreign spy cells to terrorist networks.
“Many Agents have forsaken more lucrative jobs in the private sector in order to serve their country and society. We do not seek elevated salaries and end of year bonuses, only the assurance of a reasonable and stable income.
“It’s time for Congress and the White House to negotiate an agreement that protects national security and public safety, and avoids devastating cuts to the Bureau that would hurt thousands of dedicated Agents and their families who faithfully and effectively serve the United States each and every day.”