Republicans Advance Bill to Defund Law Enforcement, Hurt Communities, Advantage Tax Cheats

July 14, 2023
Press Release

Republican cuts make American communities less safe and hurt rural businesses and the economy.

WASHINGTON — House Republicans today advanced their fiscal year 2024 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies funding bill. The legislation defunds law enforcement, makes us less safe, and hurts our economy.

While Republicans dangerously cut programs hardworking families depend on, they are making it easier for billionaires and big corporations to continue not paying their fair share in taxes. The bill cuts $22 billion from Internal Revenue Service (IRS) enforcement and operations support, providing tens of billions of dollars in tax breaks and making it easier for the ultrawealthy and well-connected to cheat on their taxes.

For 2024, the bill provides $58.7 billion, a decrease of $25 billion – 29 percent – below 2023. The legislation:

  • Defunds law enforcement, eliminating thousands of Federal agent, analyst, and prosecutor positions.
  • Harms communities and hurts the economy by gutting Economic Development Administration (EDA) programs that predominately serve rural communities, as well as the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA).
  • Makes families and children less safe by slashing Missing and Exploited Children Programs, legal services, and other resources that prevent violence.
  • Opens our schools, grocery stores, churches, concerts, and communities up to more devastating mass shootings by making it easier for guns to end up in the wrong hands.

“This appropriations bill is deeply concerning to me.  The primary duty of government is to protect the citizens we serve, and yet the proposed cuts do the opposite,” Commerce, Justice, Science Subcommittee Ranking Member Matt Cartwright (D-PA-08) said. “These deep reductions will result in fewer FBI agents and analysts, fewer Federal prosecutors, and fewer personnel at other Federal law enforcement agencies, all while making it easier for wealthy tax cheats to get away with fraud.  This legislation would also slash Federal grant programs that support good-paying jobs in distressed communities, especially rural areas. I urge my colleagues to join me in rejecting this misguided bill.”

Congressman Cartwright’s full remarks as prepared for delivery are here.

“House Republican cuts in their 2024 Commerce, Justice, Science bill defund law enforcement, science, and rural development – all while opening the door for the wealthiest individuals and corporations to cheat on their taxes,” Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Rosa DeLauro (D-CT-03) said. “It is shameful that the majority’s baseless attacks on federal law enforcement have made the leap from irresponsible rhetoric to real cuts that would kick people out of their jobs and make our country less safe. While claiming to support rural communities, they are gutting Economic Development Administration programs when two-thirds of these grants go to these communities. Their bill includes attacks on children and families by slashing Missing and Exploited Children Programs and services that prevent violence against women. It is time for my Republican colleagues to stop protecting billionaires and start focusing on the needs of all Americans.”

Congresswoman DeLauro’s full remarks as prepared for delivery are here.

Key provisions of the bill can be found here. The text of the draft bill is here.

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118th Congress