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FBI Says Budget Cuts Will Hurt Intelligence, Trafficking Probes

The FBI warned that funding cuts in a fiscal 2024 spending package would hamper counterintelligence activities and the ability to investigate human trafficking and crimes against children, as House Republicans touted funding reductions for federal law enforcement agencies, reports Roll Call. House conservatives have something to show in their push to slash funding at the FBI, main Justice Department and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, citing political bias within the agencies and criticism of policies. Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) pointed to a 6 percent cut for the FBI at a news conference, indicating the FBI and other entities are “really overreaching” and “have been turned in some ways against the American people.” House Republicans created a subcommittee on the “weaponization” of the federal government based on a wide mix of complaints. Conservatives have raised grievances with a DOJ memo they say targeted parents, condemned the way the FBI has handled certain politically sensitive investigations and accused the agency of pressuring companies to censor social media.

Johnson said the spending package cuts 3 percent from the Justice Department and 7 percent from the ATF. “And that’s just a start,” Johnson said. “We have a lot more priorities and things that we need to advance.” The cuts were not so deep as House Republicans sought in their version of the fiscal 2024 Commerce-Justice-Science spending bill, where the FBI would have seen a more than $400 million cut to their salaries and expenses account. Jim Pasco of the National Fraternal Order of Police said the funding cuts are expected to hurt efforts to fight crime, as federal authorities work closely with state and local law enforcement nationwide. “To say you support law enforcement and then withhold funding for law enforcement is at variance with common sense,” Pasco said. Out of the $654 million lawmakers agreed to cut from the FBI budget, $622 million came from eliminating what was essentially an old earmark: money for construction at the bureau’s campus at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Ala. The funding was placed into the budget years ago by Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama, now retired, reports the New York Times,


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