House Republicans recently moved to cut $1 billion in federal funding for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and protect whistleblowers as lawmakers question the bureau’s treatment of conservatives.
A House Republican subcommittee advanced legislation that would cut funding for the FBI by $1 billion, and decrease overall funding for related agencies to 2022 levels.https://t.co/5WFCPwiKEZ
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) July 15, 2023
Legislation introducing the cuts was recently passed in the House by Republicans on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and other related agencies. The bill was opposed by Democrats on the committee.
If the bill were to pass the Democratic-controlled Senate and become law, it would cut funding for the FBI by approximately 9%.
The proposed legislation would also prevent funds from being directed toward the FBI’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion, and any other offices included in the appropriations bill, which includes several federal agencies such as the Department of Commerce, and the Department of Justice (DOJ).
Funding for the DOJ would be cut by $2 billion and the Commerce Department would lose about $1.4 billion in discretionary spending if the bill passes, as reported by Fox News.
“The bill holds the Department of Justice accountable and improves our immigration court system. It supports state and local law enforcement and provides critical resources to combat illegal drugs flooding our country,” Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX), chairwoman of the appropriations committee, said.
Lawmakers have also taken steps to protect whistleblowers from retaliation. In the proposed bill, for example, there is a provision to withhold salaries from federal employees who attack whistleblowers and violate a colleague’s First Amendment rights.
The provision comes after Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) asked the appropriations committee to contain language in the bill “prohibiting retaliation against FBI whistleblowers,” which includes preventing taxpayer dollars from going toward the salary of any official who retaliates against a whistleblower.
Jordan said that to protect free speech online, the judiciary panel and the “Weaponization of the Federal Government” subcommittee must pass appropriation bills that specifically block taxpayer funds from being used for censorship or the classification of speech as “misinformation, disinformation, and mal-information.”
House Republicans have heard testimony by whistleblowers from the FBI and Internal Revenue Service (IRS), with IRS whistleblower Gary Shapley recently saying he was attacked by the FBI because he raised concerns about the DOJ.
“The actions taken by my leadership right now could be nothing but retaliation,” Shapley recently told Just the News. “They know what prohibited personnel practices are, and they know how to how to try to engage in retaliatory activities that somehow you obfuscate that piece, whether it’s a prohibited personnel practice.”