04-30-2017  11:15 pm      •     
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NEWS BRIEFS

"How to Prepare for an Earthquake"

Free presentation on earthquake preparedness at Roosevelt High School, May 2 ...

Clark College Hosts Over 100 Employers at Job Fair

Annual Career Days workshops and job fair provides students and community members with skills and connections to find jobs ...

Oscar Arana Chosen to Lead NAYA’s Community Development

Oscar Arana to serve as NAYA’s next Director of Community Development ...

High School Students Launch Police Forum, May 16

Police Peace PDX is a student-founded organization that bridges divides between community and police ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

OPINION

Take Care of Yourself, Your Health and Your Community

Sirius Bonner, Director of Equity and Inclusion for Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette, writes about the importance of...

Sponsors of Hate Today Must Be Held Accountable

The Foundation for the Carolinas has spent tens of millions of dollars over the years supporting groups that sponsor hate ...

John E. Warren on the Woes of Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo's rating downgraded from "Outstanding" to "Needs to Improve" ...

CBC Opposes Nomination of Judge Gorsuch and the Senate Should Too

Americans need a Supreme Court justice who will judge cases on the merits, not based on his or her personal philosophies ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

ENTERTAINMENT

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Thousands of Department of Justice employees can breathe a little easier after learning they won't be furloughed due to forced budget cuts, but that assurance is good only until October 1, when a new fiscal year begins for the federal government.

Attorney General Eric Holder sent a memo to department workers on Wednesday, which CNN obtained. It said, "thousands of critical FBI and ATF agents, deputy U.S. marshals, prosecutors, and other department employees will remain on the job protecting national security, fighting violent crime and enforcing our laws."

Employees were expected to be furloughed as many as 14 days when across-the-board budget cuts went into effect earlier this year after the White House and Congress couldn't agree on another way to reduce the deficit.

Holder said he can avoid furloughing workers for now because of new budget authority granted at the end of March and because he has moved some funds from different programs to be able to pay employees.

But Holder said the more than $1.6 billion in cuts affecting various government agencies will still hurt the Justice Department because he has had to cut contract spending and training and won't be able to fill open jobs because of a hiring freeze.

According to Holder, "furloughs are a distinct possibility" when the new fiscal year begins.

Rep. Frank Wolf, the Virginia Republican who chairs the House Appropriations subcommittee that oversees Justice Department funding, sent a letter to Holder on Wednesday saying he could transfer funds to avoid the furloughs. But Wolf said if the department had not purchased Thomson prison "those resources would have been available to cushion the impact" of forced budget cuts.

In 2012, the government bought the prison from the state of Illinois for $165 million. Many Republicans opposed the purchase and worried the administration would move Guantanamo detainees to that facility. Holder made assurances that would not happen.

Holder quickly sent a letter back to Wolf saying the prison purchase was not made with money needed to run the department.

 

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