The Sequester

9:51am

Thu September 12, 2013
The Two-Way

New FBI Chief Says Budget Cuts Threaten Agency's Mission

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 11:10 am

Newly minted FBI Director James Comey speaks at a swearing-in ceremony last week at the Justice Department in Washington, D.C.
Susan Walsh AP

In his first full week on the job, new FBI Director Jim Comey is already expressing "intense concern" about budget cuts hitting the bureau as part of sequestration.

Comey used his first visits to FBI field offices in Virginia and New York, where he once served as a federal prosecutor, to sound an alarm about the ability to fulfill the agency's mission in a time of belt tightening.

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12:58am

Thu September 12, 2013
Code Switch

For Native Americans, Mental Health Budget Cuts Hit Hard

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 7:49 am

Native American tribes gave up millions of acres to the federal government in the 19th century in exchange for promises of funded health care, education and housing. But time and again, those funds have been cut.

The recent across-the-board federal budget cuts, known as sequestration, are no exception. They came with a 5 percent reduction in funding for mental health services, including suicide prevention. That's especially troubling for Native Americans, whose suicide rate are four times the national average.

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4:25am

Sat September 7, 2013
Education

New School Year Brings Sequestration Pain For Many Districts

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 6:39 pm

A student at Red Lake High School starts the 2005 school year following a shooting the year before in which eight people were killed. Because of sequestration, the district is not able to keep on staff a school psychologist brought in after the shootings.
Ann Heisenfelt AP

The superintendent of the Lancaster, Pa., school district is meeting with teachers and staff at George Washington Elementary. It's the start of a new school year, and he's trying to sound upbeat about the district's finances.

"We continue to lose 5 and 10 percent of budgets each year," Pedro Rivera tells them. "And our overall goal is to make those plans and stretch out dollars to not impact you, because no kids should go without. Right?"

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3:10pm

Mon August 26, 2013
Politics

Which U.S. Agencies Have Taken The Most Furlough Days?

Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 7:36 am

In May, the Housing and Urban Development agency closed for a day, as employees were placed on furlough. The HUD and other agencies were reportedly forced to take a fraction of the furlough days that had been threatened earlier in 2013.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

The threat of furloughs loomed large early in 2013, when mandatory budget cuts seemed certain to force federal workers to skip anywhere from 10 to 22 days of work without pay this year. A new tally by Federal News Radio shows that many agencies have taken fewer than half the days they had predicted.

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3:31am

Sat August 24, 2013
Law

Cutting Public Defenders Can Cost Federal Government More

Originally published on Mon August 26, 2013 11:32 am

Courts in Tucson, Ariz., are turning to private lawyers to represent clients who would have had public defenders.
Chris Morrison AP

These days, the Federal Public Defender's Office in Tucson, Ariz., has lots of space. Since the federal budget cuts known as sequestration began, the office has lost a quarter of its staff to layoffs or furloughs.

Under the Constitution, clients still need legal representation, so judges have to appoint private attorneys to replace the public defenders.

The sequester was supposed to save money. But in this case, the sequester is costing federal dollars.

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