Washington Examiner

House GOP looks to slash funding for Jack Smith in DOJ spending bill – Washington Examiner

The‍ U.S. House of Representatives is set​ to consider several crucial ⁢annual spending bills as lawmakers reconvene in Washington. These bills ⁢include proposals to reduce the salaries of top officials in the ⁣Biden administration ‌and to halt funding for special counsel Jack Smith’s ⁤legal actions ⁣against former President Donald Trump. As part of the appropriations process, votes are anticipated on three critical bills essential ‍for funding the Departments of Defense and ⁤Homeland Security, along with state and foreign operations.

The House Appropriations Committee is also working through additional spending measures such as the⁤ Commerce, Justice, and Science appropriations bills, which ⁢cover funding for entities like the Department ‍of Justice. Of significant note is the⁣ inclusion of a‌ provision in the final bill aimed ⁢at defunding Jack Smith’s ⁣prosecutions of ⁤Donald ‌Trump. This measure is actively supported ​by significant figures such as Jim Jordan (R-OH)⁣ and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), among other Trump allies in ‍the House.

Jim Jordan has also ‌proposed cuts in the 2024 fiscal budget targeting what he describes as “politicized prosecutions” by state ‌and local prosecutors, specifically pointing to actions by Manhattan ⁤DA Alvin⁢ Bragg, Fulton County DA ⁣Fani Willis in Georgia, and NY Attorney General Letitia James—all of whom are currently pursuing cases against Trump.

Speaker of the‌ House, Mike Johnson (R-LA), has expressed intentions to curb what he perceives as abuses by Smith’s office, arguing that these prosecutions represent a ‌politically motivated weaponization of the judicial ‍system against Trump, especially concerning ⁢his handling of classified documents⁤ and attempts to challenge the 2020 election⁣ results. Johnson alleges that these judicial actions ‌are coordinated ⁣political assaults meant to⁣ interfere with⁢ Trump’s potential re-election ‌campaign. ​He characterizes these efforts as‍ borderline criminal conspiracy and asserts‍ that they are transparent election interference tactics visible to the⁣ public.

The House is set to consider several annual spending bills as lawmakers return to Washington this week, including proposals to slash the salaries of top Biden administration officials and defund special counsel Jack Smith’s prosecutions against former President Donald Trump.

Lawmakers are expected to vote on three of their must-pass appropriations bills to fund the departments of Defense and Homeland Security, as well as state and foreign operations. The House Appropriations Committee will also continue its markups for other spending bills that will come to the floor later this summer, including the Commerce, Justice, and Science appropriations bills that allocate funding for agencies such as the Justice Department.

The final bill, in particular, has attracted attention as lawmakers look to include a measure that would defund DOJ special counsel Jack Smith’s prosecutions against Trump. The provision has been repeatedly requested by some of Trump’s top allies in the House, including Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA).

Jordan has also made funding requests for fiscal 2025 to include cuts for “politicized prosecutions from state and local prosecutors engaged in lawfare,” specifically naming Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis in Georgia, and New York Attorney General Letitia James, each of whom has opened cases against Trump.

House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) has indicated the House GOP will “rein in the abuses” of Smith’s office, arguing its prosecutions relating to Trump’s handling of classified documents and attempts to overturn the 2020 election are evidence that “the judicial system in our country has been weaponized against President Trump.” Trump is running for a second term in the White House against his 2020 rival, President Joe Biden.

“These cases are coordinated political attacks, plain and simple,” Johnson told reporters last month. “They are a clear attempt to keep Donald Trump in the courtroom and off the campaign trail. That’s what this is. It’s an election interference. It is borderline criminal conspiracy, and the American people see right through it.”

House appropriators will continue marking up the DOJ spending bill, which is expected to come to the floor for a vote in mid-July.

Meanwhile, GOP leaders are looking to advance the Defense, Homeland, and SFOPS bills to the floor this week for full consideration to stay on track with their ambitious appropriations schedule unveiled earlier this year. Under that plan, lawmakers are hoping to vote on all 12 appropriations bills in June and July to have the budget completed through the House before members leave for their August recess.

However, that may be easier said than done after several hiccups in the last appropriations process, and lawmakers are in for what could become a marathon voting session this week.

There are already more than 800 amendments filed for the three appropriations bills up for consideration this week. Among those include several “culture war” amendments on immigration, abortion, environment, and diversity, equity, and inclusion — proposals that will likely cause Democrats to vote against the bills altogether.


Also among the proposed amendments are measures to slash the salaries of top Biden administration officials, including Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. The proposals would decrease their salaries to just $1.

Even if the three appropriations bills manage to make it through the House, they are unlikely to be considered by the Senate in their current form — setting the stage for a drawn-out spending fight that could extend past the election in November. Senate leaders and the White House could also seek to punt the funding deadline, Oct. 1, until after it is known who will be president in 2025 and which party will be in control of the upper chamber.

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