House Republicans, concerned about perceived FBI bias against conservatives, advocate for a $1 billion cut in its budget and stronger protections for federal whistleblowers. Despite resistance from Democrats, the proposed cuts were passed by the Republican-majority House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies.
The bill would cause about a 9% cut in FBI funding, limit allocation to its office of diversity and inclusion, and extend to agencies like the Department of Commerce and Justice, facing reductions of $1.4 billion and $2 billion.
“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,” said Appropriations Chairwoman Kay Granger (R-TX).
This piece of legislation includes notable provisions aimed at protecting whistleblowers from retaliatory actions. One clause proposes to withhold salaries from federal employees found guilty of retaliating against whistleblowers, a clear violation of their First Amendment rights. Representative Jim Jordan has spearheaded the effort to incorporate this language, further stipulating a prohibition on using taxpayer dollars to compensate officials guilty of whistleblower retaliation.
House Republicans have heard whistleblower testimonies from the FBI and IRS about retaliation, sparking concern over the Department of Justice’s procedures. They aim to protect online free speech and fight censorship by banning the use of taxpayer money to label certain speech as “mis-, dis-, or mal-information”. However, a law adoption faces substantial opposition in the Senate and from the White House. The nation awaits the outcome of this intense political maneuver.