In a video message released today, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that, due to the budget agreement approved by Congress last month, the Justice Department is able to lift the hiring freeze that has been in place for just over three years.
The complete text of the Attorney General’s message is below:
“In recent years, federal employees have been asked to contend with sharp budget cuts, sequestration, and the personal hardships imposed by a government shutdown. Here at the Department of Justice, these conditions have strained our capacity. And they’ve compelled us to take extraordinary measures just to make ends meet – including a hiring freeze that I was forced to institute in 2011, and which has resulted in the loss of more than 4,000 employees.
“These losses have been acutely felt. But finally, after years of uncertainty, Congress recently passed – and the President signed – a bipartisan budget agreement that allowed our appropriators to restore Justice Department funding to pre-sequestration levels – and even adds funding for key priorities. As a result of this budget agreement, effective immediately, the Department will lift the hiring freeze that’s been in place for just over three years. After years of doing more with less, we will begin to fill critical vacancies. And we will resume the normal hiring process for federal agents, prosecutors, analysts and the other staff we need to fulfill our mission. These added resources will help us carry out our critical law enforcement responsibilities and improve public safety.
“I want to thank Members of Congress – particularly Senators Mikulski and Shelby and Congressmen Wolf and Fattah – for their leadership in securing this important agreement. As we put these resources to work, my colleagues and I will remain committed to serving as sound stewards of taxpayer dollars. And we’ll continue to make our operations as efficient and effective as possible.
“Across the board, I’m extremely proud of the outstanding work that Justice Department employees have performed in recent years – in the face of adversity, and despite escalating threats and challenges. Every one of them is a credit to this institution, to our nation, and to the American people we’re privileged to serve. So I want to take this opportunity to thank them – for their commitment, for their dedication, and for the sacrifices that they and their families have made in the name of public service. Their efforts inspire me every day. And I will never stop working to secure the support they need to carry out their important duties – and to keep advancing the cause of justice that remains our common pursuit.”
The Attorney General’s video message can be viewed online here: http://www.justice.gov/agwa.php.