FBI director stops in Houston and brings news of potential - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

FBI director stops in Houston and brings news of potential cutbacks

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HOUSTON (FOX 26) -

The future of many of the employees at a federal building in Houston may be in jeopardy. That simply means some FBI agents and support staff may not have a job by the end of the year.

FBI Director James Comey says, "unless Congress passes the budget that contains the FBI's appropriations I'm looking at having to reduce almost 3500 positions from the FBI."

And that means those agents who work in Houston are not exempt from the cuts that could come at the beginning of the year.

Those are the same agents who have already gone nearly three weeks without pay as a result of the earlier shutdown in Washington D.C.

But this action is the result of the sequester cuts.

FBI National Director James Comey's stop in Houston was expected to be just pomp and circumstance...but it turned out to be doom and gloom for the country's top law enforcement agency.

He says, "the need to cut the 3500 positions means the vacancies in Houston can not be filed."

That means there are 600 people in Houston's FBI division office who are very nervous. Then there's the trickle down effect to local law enforcement agencies and prosecutors.

Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson says, "I think any sequester that affects the FBI will affect us too because we do work on task force with them and we partner with the US Attorney's office on quite a few things."

Then there are those who are on the front lines like the Houston Police Department. Their ties to the FBI involves human tracking, bank robberies, murders, drug trafficking and the list goes on.

Houston police Chief Charles McClelland says, "the Houston police department, the sheriff's department depends on the task forces and the FBI."

Comey says as of October 1 he's looking at a $700 million gutting of his annual $8 billion budget from Congress...He says unfortunately the cold reality is Houston simply needs to prepare unless Washington does an about face.

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