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Law Enforcement Groups Fear Federal Grant Cuts By GOP

Law enforcement groups have raised concerns that potential fiscal 2024 cuts sought by House Republicans could hamper state and local agencies at a time when they face challenges with recruitment and retention. The plan from House Republicans would slash discretionary funding nearly 29 percent in the spending bill that covers Justice Department, reports Roll Call. Cuts could be made from non-law enforcement programs. Police groups say a cut in funding would stymie federal law enforcement operations. They said local and state police depend on federal grant funding. Hard-right conservatives have made the main Justice Department and FBI a target of attack over what they perceive as the agencies' political bias. Jim Pasco of the National Fraternal Order of Police, said, “State and local law enforcement are suffering. They're dying on the vine because of a lack of funding.”

Republican Rep. Harold Rogers of Kentucky, chairman of the Commerce-Justice-Science subcommittee, said, "We’re still discussing what to do on the bill." The Justice Department says that going back to fiscal 2022 funding levels would lead to many negative consequences, including layoffs or furloughs. The funding bill includes the Justice Department’s Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant program, which can send money to support police, drug treatment and prosecution, among other areas. DOJ says returning to 2022 totals would lead to a roughly 30 percent drop on average in grants. Many fiscal conservatives don’t believe that it’s the federal government’s job to fund state and local law enforcement because it’s a state and local service. Those agencies have taken on more responsibilities over the years at the request of the federal government.

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