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House Republicans have moved to cut $1 billion in funding for the FBI and protect federal whistleblowers as lawmakers continue to question the bureau over its treatment of conservatives.
The bill introducing the cuts was passed by Republicans on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies and was opposed by Democrats on the committee. If the bill, which could face an uphill battle in the Senate and from the White House, becomes law it would cut FBI funding by about 9%.
The proposed bill also prevents funds from being used for the FBI’s office of diversity and inclusion, as well as other agency diversity offices that fall under the scope of the appropriations bill, which covers a variety of federal agencies including the Commerce Department and the Department of Justice.
The DOJ would also get its funding cut by $2 billion and the Commerce Department would lose $1.4 in discretionary spending.
“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,” Appropriations Chairwoman Kay Granger (R-TX) said.
Lawmakers also took steps to shield whistleblowers from retaliation, including in the bill a provision to withhold salaries from federal employees who take action against whistleblowers and violate an employee’s First Amendment rights.
The whistleblower provision comes after Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) asked the DOJ appropriations bill to contain language “prohibiting retaliation against FBI whistleblowers,” including prohibiting taxpayer dollars from going toward the salary of any official found to have retaliated against a whistleblower.
In order to protect free speech online, Jordan said the judiciary panel as well as his “Weaponization of the Federal Government” subcommittee want appropriations bills that explicitly block taxpayer funds from being used for censorship and to classify speech as “so-called ‘mis-, dis-, or mal-information.’
House Republicans have heard testimony from FBI and IRS whistleblowers this year, with IRS whistleblower Gary Shapley saying he was retaliated against because he raised concerns about the DOJ.
“The actions taken by my leadership right now could be nothing but retaliation,” Shapley told Just the News earlier this month. “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.”