GOP Puts ‘Overreaching’ Agencies on the Chopping Block

( – The Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson has outlined plans for reduced funding for governmental agencies he claims are “overreaching”, and in some cases working against the interests of the American people. Speaking on Wednesday, March 6th, Johnson gave some details on the bills passed that day that he had helped negotiate, including funding cuts for agencies such as the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF).

While Johnson hopes to avoid a government shutdown with the raft of bills, he faces criticism from some hardliners in his own party, as well as from Democrats. Under this financial package, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will lose 10% of its budget, the Federal Bureau of Intelligence (FBI) 6%, the ATF will face a 7% cut and the DOJ will have its coffers shrunk by 6%. Democrat critics have framed these cuts as a Republican method of defunding the police, a goal held by some left-wing activists whose slogan “Defund the police” was often heard during the 2020 protests and riots following the death of George Floyd.

On the political right, members of the Freedom Caucus have expressed concerns that Speaker Johnson will not have the majority needed to progress a conservative agenda in the House, and that he will ultimately end up working more closely with Democrats than with the more Trump-aligned Freedom Caucus in the coming months. Johnson, working with a slim majority of 219-213 in the House, has acknowledged the difficulty of his role, referring to it as akin to turning an aircraft carrier in terms of how much time and effort it takes to deal with governmental budgets. Some of his Republican peers, however, have complained that he has taken too much time to hammer out the details of these recent bills and that his current show of decisiveness is solely due to having no alternatives.

Speaker Johnson used his March 6th statement to paint a picture of optimism and increased power for his party, saying that he felt excitement at the prospect of the November elections and was confident that the GOP would be able to increase the House majority, gain a majority in the Senate, and install a Republican president in the White House.

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