House weaponization panel seeks to eclipse January 6 committee's $18M+ budget despite rocky start
House weaponization panel chair Jim Jordan is already seeking more money from leadership.
Jordan requested a $19 million budget, which is roughly what the January 6 select committee spent.
Government watchdogs worry he'll get it and never have to answer for what is done with the funds.
House Judiciary chair Jim Jordan is racing to secure at least $19 million in funding for his new weaponization panel, a hefty boost that would one-up the nearly two-year investigation into the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol even though he's just getting started on his own agenda items.
His pitch for an additional $17 million in resources, first reported by Axios, includes doubling his initial $2 million budget and carving out a $15 million "reserve fund" the new political investigation unit can draw from as needed.
While aides to Jordan and Speaker Kevin McCarthy did not immediately respond to requests for comment about where the projected spending figures came from, a House Administration Committee staffer who requested anonymity in order to speak freely said that prescribed baseline generally matches up with what the select committee panel that recommended prosecuting Donald Trump for the deadly siege at the US Capitol spent last session.
"Don't have a final number yet because bills are still coming in, but it's over $18 million at this point," the GOP staffer told Insider.
Between the select committee disbanding after releasing its politically damning final report and House Republicans rearranging things on every committee after narrowly reclaiming control of the chamber last fall, tracking every select committee financial statement has gotten tricky.
House Democratic leadership aides declined to answer questions about the required financial records. But the final disbursement report for 2022 lists $11.8 million in committee expenses, including $6.5 million in staff compensation and $5 million for "other services" ranging from paying outside consultants to stenographers.
What bothers government watchdog Donald Sherman about this latest bid is the lack of accountability surrounding it.
"There's no check on this check that they're getting from taxpayers," the senior vice president and chief counsel at Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, told Insider about Jordan's supplemental request.
Sherman scolded House GOP leaders for demanding budget cuts elsewhere, but then throwing money at poorly received pet projects like the "flameout that the weaponization committee just experienced with its so-called whistleblowers hearing."
"The leadership is using their slim majority to use millions in taxpayer funds to promote attacks on what they perceive as their political enemies," Sherman said, citing a recent Jordan-led hearing featuring government informants with credibility issues.
"This highlights for me just how little oversight Congress gets," Sherman added, bemoaning that American taxpayers will never get a "line-by-line accounting of how the weaponization committee is spending this money…before it goes out the door."
Read the original article on Business Insider