House Republicans had floated the use of congressional appropriations power to retaliate against the New York felony charges filed against Donald Trump. Then came his all-caps post on social media Wednesday. Trump called for Congress to “DEFUND THE DOJ AND FBI UNTIL THEY COME TO THEIR SENSES,” in a Truth Social post after his arraignment on 34 charges of falsifying business records tied to hush payments to two women prior to the 2016 election. At Mar-a-Lago, Trump called Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg a “criminal” and federal special prosecutor Jack Smith a “real lunatic” for investigating the lead-up to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol. Trump’s comments could fuel any Republican attempt to use the appropriations process in response to the charges, which would complicate efforts of their narrow House majority to pass spending legislation, reports Roll Call. There’s no indication Senate Democrats would go along with such cuts.
Speaker Kevin McCarthy promised holdouts of his bid for speaker that the chamber would write the fiscal 2024 appropriations bills at a fiscal 2022 topline level, which would require about $142 billion in cuts, or 9 percent. McCarthy tweeted ahead of the indictment that he was “directing relevant committees to immediately investigate if federal funds are being used to subvert our democracy by interfering in elections with politically motivated prosecutions.” McCarthy says that the investigation is “admittedly using federal funds.” McCarthy says prosecutor "Bragg’s weaponization of the federal justice process will be held accountable by Congress.” Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) said, “I am disgusted with District Attorney Bragg’s office. They’ve spent thousands of dollars in federal funds to investigate President Trump and receive millions more in federal grants. Congress should immediately cease funding this weaponized office." Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) said she would vote against any spending that does not cut funding to the DOJ and other federal law enforcement agencies. Last year, she advocated to cut funding for Smith’s investigation.