Big budget woes worry new FBI Director James Comey, McClatchy Newspapers report. The agent training pipeline is empty, curtailed by prior economizing. By Oct. 1, Comey must find an additional $800 million or so in budget savings, out of an FBI budget of $8.1 billion. Layoffs and furloughs appear inevitable. Comey indicated that he may have to “cut 3,000 positions,” as well as impose unpaid furloughs of up to two weeks on remaining employees to meet the sequester demands. “I'm not playing a game,” Comey said. “I'm not crying wolf.”
The bureau is facing a scathing new American Civil Liberties Union report into the alleged “unchecked abuse of authority.” Also, the Justice Department Office of Inspector General yesterday criticized the actions of several FBI field offices. Like predecessor Robert Mueller, who took office a week before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Comey is continuing to identify counterterrorism and cyber crime as the bureau's top priorities. The bureau grew immensely in staff and funding in the past 12 years under Mueller. In fiscal 2001, it had a budget of $3.3 billion and a staff of about 27,000. By fiscal 2012, the bureau's budget was $8.1 billion and the staff exceeds 34,000.