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Shaheen Chairs Hearing Featuring Testimony from AG Merrick Garland on FY23 Budget, Countering Russian Kleptocracy & Combating Local Crime

AG Appropriations Hearing

Shaheen chairing a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing in Washington earlier today.

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Chair of the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies (CJS) Senate Appropriations subcommittee, today chaired a hearing with testimony from Attorney General Merrick Garland on priorities for the Fiscal Year 2023 budget for the Department of Justice (DOJ).

During her opening remarks, Shaheen applauded bolstered funding requests for programs that fight crime and support survivors, as well as support for law enforcement. She also thanked the Department for holding accountable the ISIS ‘Beatle’ terrorists, including El Shafee Elsheikh, who murdered four Americans – Granite Stater James Foley, as well Kayla Mueller, Steven Sotloff and Peter Kassig.

Shaheen began her questioning by asking AG Garland about interagency efforts and international cooperation to counter Russian kleptocracy, which is financing Russia’s war on Ukraine. Shaheen asked for details around progress made by Task Force KleptoCapture, which launched last month to enforce sanctions and countermeasures imposed by the U.S. and our allies in response to Russia’s sweeping war. Garland discussed the close coordination with international partners to prosecute violations of sanctions and seize assets belonging to sanctioned individuals.

Shaheen also asked the Attorney General to detail the ramifications of delays in approving nominees for U.S. Attorneys and Marshalls, particularly in regards to combating local crime. Shaheen noted that the confirmation of the nominee for U.S. Attorney of New Hampshire, Jane Young, has been held for over a year, and asked if additional resources are needed to speed the confirmation process. Since U.S. Attorneys and Marshalls are at the tip of the sphere in combating crime and convening local task forces to identify drivers of crime and solutions, our ability to fight violent crime and cybercrime is deeply limited with these lingering vacancies.

During her second line of questioning, Shaheen asked Garland about delays at the Bureau of Justice Statistics in compiling data on police suicides at federal, state and local levels. She pointed to high profile police suicides in New Hampshire and noted she hopes to see resources and directives previously provided to the Bureau implemented. In addition, Shaheen pressed for insights around the Department’s strategy to combat fentanyl overdoses, particularly in light of the National Drug Control Strategy released by the Biden administration last week.

Shaheen’s first round of questioning on Russian kleptocracy and confirming key officials to combat local crime is available here. 

Shaheen’s second round of questioning on law enforcement suicides and fentanyl overdoses is available here.

As Chair of the CJS Subcommittee, Shaheen helped write the government funding legislation for Fiscal Year 2022 that was recently signed into law. She included and supported numerous measures that invest in important New Hampshire and national priorities, and delivered urgently needed military assistance to Ukraine as Russia continues its unprovoked, premediated war. Senator Shaheen led action on items to address the substance use disorder crisis, provide record-level funding for Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) programs – as well as successfully pushing for reauthorization of VAWA, ending three years of Republican obstruction – and significant federal resources for scientific research opportunities, which are championed by Granite State academic institutions.