How Senator Coburn Would Slash Justice Department Spending


Senator Tom Coburn, an Oklahoma Republican who is one of the Gang of Six senators trying to come up with a budget cutting plan that will allow the U.S. to raise its debt ceiling, this week issued a detailed report on how the federal government could balance its budget in a decade. The report includes $34 billion of projected savings in the Justice Department.

While Coburn speaks only for himself on many issues, some of the cuts he suggests for crime-fighting measures give a clue to ways at least some Republicans would reduce spending if they could. Among his many ideas: eliminate the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Mobile Enforcement teams, end the National Drug Intelligence Center, shut down the National Institute of Justice–the department’s research agency–close the Community Oriented Policing Services agency (which House Republican appropriators have voted to do), cut by half the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant program for states and localities, cut federal aid for juvenile justice programs in half, cut violence against women program grants by 20 percent, collect reimbursements from state and local governments for crime lab work, and eliminate disability benefits for state and local law enforcement.

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