Sequester Expected To Cut $100 Million From U.S. Attorney Community

On April 3, 2013, we asked the Department of Justice to assess the impact of sequestration on the U.S. Attorney community. A DOJ spokesperson replied:

Notice of proposed furloughs have gone to nearly all DOJ employees (approximately 115,000). The House Democrats posted a version here:


With the sequester underway, the Department will need to absorb a $1.6 billion cut, which is effectively a 9% cut in the remaining months of the fiscal year.  The sequestration, as it currently stands, would cut approximately $100 million from the current budget for the entire U.S. Attorney Community, affecting every District and reducing the number of cases they can prosecute. The Justice Department anticipates U.S. Attorneys’ Offices will handle 1,600 fewer civil cases and 1,000 fewer criminal cases. Fewer affirmative civil and criminal cases will affect our ability to ensure that justice is served and impact funds owed to the government.


Department of Justice components are expected to carefully consider how to prioritize available resources to minimize the impact of sequestration on the Department’s ability to carry out essential functions. Employees have been provided a notice of possible furlough, which is required at least 30 days, or in some cases 60 days, before any furloughs are implemented. If a furlough decision is certain, the employee will receive the required decision notice. Managers will follow up with each affected employee on specific scheduling details.


The Department is still finalizing sequestration plans and will reassess impacts when final funding levels become available.


On April 24, 2013, the Attorney General announced that the Department will not need to fulough employees this fiscal year after all, thanks to some moves from Congress and cost-cutting measures. But Holder warned that “few of the extraordinary actions” the agency is now takikng to avoid furloughs will be available next year, making furloughs “a distinct possibility at the beginning of next fiscal year if sequestration levels continue.”