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      Director of FBI: Cyber crime, budget cuts top priority

      FBI Director James Comey was in Birmingham Tuesday morning discussing the role of the bureau and the challenges it faces in dealing with deep budget cuts. (abc3340.com)

      FBI Director James Comey was in Birmingham Tuesday morning discussing the role of the bureau and the challenges it faces in dealing with deep budget cuts.{}"One of the first challenges I've faced as FBI director was the impact of budget sequestration on the bureau," said Comey.{}Automatic budget cuts to federal programs, known as sequestration, forced the FBI to leave vacant positions {}unfilled and led to fractured relationships with informants abroad.{}"The first promise that we have made to the American people is that we will do everything in our power to keep the American people safe from terrorist attacks. That's our number one priority," said Comey.{}A report from the Federal Bureau of Investigation Agents Association adds that the current budget cuts in place undermine counter terrorism investigations and diminish ammunition supplies. {}Experts warn it becomes increasingly more difficult for the FBI to do its job when there are fewer agents on the ground safeguarding American interests.{}{} {}Comey says he and congress are working together to come to a compromise.{}"I'm optimistic we are on the cusp of a budget agreement that will allow the FBI to start hiring again and avoid the devastating furloughs we were facing," said Comey.{}

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