The Biden administration isn’t thrilled to see the contents of ideas for federal spending from Republicans including the House Freedom Caucus, a group of members of that chamber including prominent names like Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio).
The members of that group are, among other things, hoping to pin raising the debt ceiling, which covers past spending commitments, to future cuts. With a meager allowance for annual growth, the group said they want discretionary spending’s total amount capped at the total already utilized for fiscal year 2022 for a whopping ten years. In a press release from Monday, Biden’s team blasted the group’s ideas, outlining some of the potential threats to federal operations in areas like law enforcement and border security.
“CBO found that—in order to meet Congressional Republicans’ stated commitment to balancing the budget in 10 years without raising taxes on the wealthy or corporations, and without cutting Social Security, Medicare, defense, and some veterans’ benefits—Congressional Republicans would need to eliminate everything in the rest of the Federal budget,” the Biden team said.
Besides any potentially needed slashes to federal services for the imagined balance they want, there are also some specific ideas that Republicans have explicitly pushed, from clawing back tens of billions in additional funding designated for the IRS to evidently undercutting the operations of the federal agency known as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) with measures like a hiring freeze across the agency, although that concept as an active policy proposal originates earlier.
“The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) would have to implement a hiring freeze that would mean 190 agents, 130 Industry Operations Investigators, and 180 technical and support staff would be lost to attrition—and ATF’s entire workforce of over 5,000 personnel would have to take 36 furlough days, further undermining their operations,” according to the Biden White House’s description of the Republican proposals and what they could force. GOP threats also target tranches of federal support for law enforcement personnel working nationwide.
That’s some of the same funding about which Republicans are also now complaining in the context of the investigation from Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg into Trump for the illegal arrangement providing hush money to adult film star Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election. In a new letter, Republicans leading three prominent House panels demanded Bragg provide records of his office’s use of federal funds — and Republicans could seek to limit this method of support for law enforcement going forward.