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- Far-right Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene says she won’t vote for a budget without cuts to DOJ and FBI.
- Specifically, she wants to target ongoing DOJ investigations into former President Donald Trump.
- It adds to a long list of steep conservative demands in exchange for raising the debt ceiling.
Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia said on Friday that she would not vote for legislation to fund the government unless it includes cuts targeting ongoing criminal investigations into former President Donald Trump.
The unprecedented demand will likely garner momentum among the furthest-right members of the House Republican caucus. It also complicates what’s already shaping up to be a contentious fight, with both the functioning of the federal government and the potential for a fiscal crisis hanging in the balance. Once a fringe member of the caucus, Greene has emerged as a key ally of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.
In a tweet, Greene claimed that the Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation have “weaponized their power” against conservatives and everyone “aligned with Trump” and said she would not vote for the budget unless it will “defund the two-tiered justice system and reign in the politically weaponized DOJ and FBI.”
—Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene🇺🇸 (@RepMTG) March 17, 2023
Greene spokesman Nick Dyer clarified that the congresswoman was alluding to the use of the Holman rule, which allows Congress to target specific federal employees’ salaries and zero-out specific government programs.
The congresswoman previously touted the rule, which was not used by Congress during the past four years but was re-adopted by the new Republican majority this year, as a tool to go after the ongoing special counsel investigation into Trump.
—Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene🇺🇸 (@RepMTG) November 18, 2022
It remains unclear how else Greene and other House Republicans may seek to use the rule, but the notion that the FBI and DOJ are targeting conservatives more broadly has been a central focus on the House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, chaired by Republican Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio.
The Department of Justice, via Special Counsel Jack Smith, is investigating Trump over the January 6 assault on the US Capitol and for his mishandling of classified documents, recently issuing subpoenas in relation to both matters.
Since re-taking the House, Republicans have sought to use the debt ceiling — the legal limit on the amount of money that the US can borrow to fund already-approved government spending — as a means to bend the Biden administration towards making cuts to government spending.
The US is projected to breach the $31.4 trillion limit sometime between July and September, according to an estimate from the Congressional Budget Office. Conservatives have said they will not vote to raise the limit unless changes are made to the budget, despite voting to raise the debt limit multiple times during the Trump administration.
The House Freedom Caucus last week unveiled a slew of far-reaching budget demands in exchange for their votes to raise the debt ceiling, including “recouping” the billions of dollars in climate-related investments approved as part of the Inflation Reduction Act.
—bryan metzger (@metzgov) March 10, 2023
McCarthy has yet to release a budget blueprint or otherwise make clear what specific cuts the House Republican majority will seek to make in order to agree on future government funding.
A breach of the debt ceiling would result in the United States defaulting on its debt, a move likely to trigger a financial crisis and possibly even an economic recession.