Schumer introduces resolution supporting FBI after Trump called for defunding

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Tuesday that he was introducing a resolution in support of fully funding federal law enforcement, attempting to embarrass Republicans after Donald Trump suggested Congress should defund the FBI and the Justice Department.

A vote on Schumer’s three-page resolution could leave Republicans caught between defying the former president or supporting a position that would rankle rank-and-file voters of assorted political stripes.

“Where will they stand: with the former president’s dangerous call to cut funding to federal law enforcement or with the American people who want to be safe?” Schumer, a Brooklyn Democrat, asked on the Senate floor.

The minority leader, Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, responded that Senate Republicans had no interest in shortchanging law enforcement.

“I can pretty safely say I have not met any Republicans in Congress who want to spend less on law enforcement,” McConnell said at a news conference. “The last thing we want to do is spend less. We ought to be looking for ways to spend more.”

McConnell has had a tumultuous relationship with Trump, and it has been severely strained after McConnell acknowledged that Trump lost the 2020 presidential election. The two men are not believed to be on speaking terms.

Still, some Republicans seem wary of crossing Trump, and the former president has emerged as the early front-runner to win the GOP nomination in the 2024 White House race.

Trump, who was indicted by a grand jury in New York last month and faces legal scrutiny from the Justice Department and state prosecutors in Georgia, wrote on social media two weeks ago that “REPUBLICANS IN CONGRESS SHOULD DEFUND THE DOJ AND FBI UNTIL THEY COME TO THEIR SENSES.”


Representatives for Trump did not immediately reply to requests for comment.

Schumer’s non-binding Senate resolution would carry only symbolic weight. The document denounces Trump by name and “condemns calls to ‘defund’ the Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation.”

On Monday, House Republicans dialed up their efforts to portray Democrats as soft on crime, holding a so-called field hearing in lower Manhattan focused on violent crime in Democrat-led New York City.

On Tuesday, Schumer sought to reposition the terms of the political debate around public safety. The vote on the resolution is tentatively set for later this week, said Angelo Roefaro, Schumer’s spokesman.

“The members of this chamber will have a chance to do the right thing and stand up for federal law enforcement,” Schumer said in his floor remarks.

“If Senate Republicans block this provision,” he added, “they’ll be telling the American people that the GOP has been utterly consumed by extremism.”