By Jonathan Easley - 02/26/13 07:09 PM EST
President Obama and other high ranking members of his administration were out in force on Tuesday warning the sequester would damage the slowly recovering economy and cause chaos in some areas of federal oversight.
Republicans have accused the administration of scare tactics. On Tuesday, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, sent a letter to Holder claiming the Attorney General was taking a “sky is falling approach” to the cuts.
“The ‘sky is falling’ approach that the Attorney General is taking doesn’t help anyone,” Grassley wrote. “It seems to me that if the department documented how it took into consideration what can and should be reduced not only gives confidence to the public, but ensures the department has done its due diligence to make sure that the least disruptions possible to law enforcement capabilities are taken.”
The sequester would cut $1.6 billion from the DOJ’s approximately $27 billion budget. Holder urged Congress to “act swiftly,” saying it wasn’t just the cuts that were at issue, but also the “meat cleaver” approach that doesn’t allow for “flexibility” in spreading the reductions to areas of his department that are better equipped to withstand them.
“There are FBI agents and DEA agents and ATF agents who are going to get furloughed, who are simply not going to be on the streets like they should be," he said.
Holder urged Congress to “act swiftly,” although few expect a deal to be reached by the Friday deadline.