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Shaheen Holds Hearing with Attorney General Garland on Department of Justice FY2022 Funding Priorities

 6.9.21 CJS subcommittee hearing on DOJ budget request for FY22

(Washington, DC) – Today, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and Chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies (CJS), held a hearing on fiscal year 2022 funding priorities for the U.S. Department of Justice. She questioned Attorney General Merrick Garland on a variety of issues critical to New Hampshire and the nation.

Shaheen began by highlighting her concerns with the present level of funding in the Crime Victims Fund, which is administered by the Justice Department and provides support for victims of violent crimes, including survivors of child abuse, domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking. She asked AG Garland to clarify what steps the Department has taken to address this issue and what requests for resources the Fund received over the past year. In March, Shaheen had written a letter to the Attorney General with Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) urging his immediate review of the Crime Victims Fund given a dramatic decline in deposits into the Fund.

You can watch Shaheen’s first round of questioning here.

Later, Shaheen raised recent reports that under the Trump Administration, the Justice Department seized phone and email records of journalists. She asked Attorney General Garland to commit to ensuring freedom of the press and ensure there are no future efforts to seize such records unless there is legitimate criminal concern.

Shaheen concluded by asking the Attorney General to clarify what actions the Justice Department is taking to help improve, facilitate and streamline the nation’s immigration system. She asked whether the Legal Orientation Program, which provides basic legal explanations of court proceedings to those going through immigration courts, would be continued and funded, and stressed the need for immigration reform.

You can watch Shaheen’s second round of questioning here.

Through her leadership on the CJS Appropriations subcommittee, Shaheen has long been a strong advocate on key concerns that fall under the Department of Justice’s purview, including funding programs that help survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse, distribution of the Crime Victims Fund to support victim services and resources to address the substance use disorder epidemic. Shaheen has also advocated for resources to support law enforcement and thorough oversight over the Bureau of Prisons, which impacts the Berlin facility in New Hampshire, and much more.