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Saturday, June 28, 2014

Congressman will begin defunding the DOJ

One has to start someplace. Hats off to Congressman Frank Wolf. As chairman of the Appropriations subcommittee that oversees Eric Holder’s Justice Department Rep. Wolf hopes to rein in the Justice Department by taking away its money. Wolf has sought dozens of documents from the DOJ as part of his committee's oversight responsibilities. To no one's surprise Eric Holder has not complied with the requests so Wolf will begin deducting $1million for each missing document.

“There are still 25 outstanding reports and briefings from the FY 2013 bill, and that doesn't’t include any of the additional reports directed in the FY 2014 bill, which was subsequently signed into law earlier this year. There are already 18 reports in the FY 2014 bill that are overdue to the committee.
“With a workforce of more than 100,000 employees, I know that the department certainly has the capacity to provide the directed reports. What is lacking is the will to be responsive to the Congress on the part of the department’s leadership. That is what I find particularly disappointing.
“Today, I am announcing a new policy that these overdue reports will no longer be tolerated by the committee. When our FY 2015 bill is marked up this spring, I intend to withhold $1 million for every overdue report from the FY 2013 and FY 2014 bills. The funds will be provided instead to agencies in this bill that comply with reporting requirements. With the current backlog of 43 reports, this could be a significant reduction in funds for the department. But you have now been given fair warning that these overdue reports will now be taken into account when the subcommittee determines your budget.
“For the record, I find it extremely unfortunate that I have to take this action, but I know no other way to encourage the department to follow through on its required obligations to this Committee.
Yes it is small potatoes. The DOJ has an annual budget in the neighborhood of $27 billion and the $43 million is probably not enough to keep the department in porn but it's a bold first step and more than any other House chair has done. Maybe Rep. Dave Camp at Ways and Means will follow suit. "Let's see Mr. Koskinen, that's $1 million dollars times 24,000 missing emails. As I figure it you should still have bus fare to Arlington."

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