Attorney General Eric Holder warned on Wednesday that looming across-the-board budget cuts would harm national security.
"The Justice Department is going to lose nine percent of its budget between now and September 30th," he told Pierre Thomas of ABC News. "We're going to lose $1.6 billion. There are not going to be as many FBI agents, ATF agents, DEA agents, prosecutors who are going to be able to do their jobs. They're going to be furloughed. They're going to spend time out of their offices, not doing their jobs."
The cuts, known as the sequester, were implemented as part of a deal to raise the federal debt ceiling in 2011. The sequester was supposed to be so devastating to both Republicans and Democrats that it would force them to compromise on a deficit reduction plan.
Some Republicans have recently said the consequences of the indiscriminate budget cuts are overstated. But Holder insisted those who downplayed the sequester were "either lying or saying something that runs contrary to the facts."
"If you don't have prosecutors and agents doing what we expect them to do, and we won't if this thing actually takes place, we are going to be a nation that is going to be less safe. And that is simple fact," he said.
Watch video, courtesy of ABC News, below:
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