May 4, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Garland asks Congress for $85 million in extra funding to fight domestic terrorism

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland speaking at the Department of Justice in April 2021.
U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland speaking at the Department of Justice in April 2021. Photo: Mandel Ngan-Pool/Getty Images

Attorney General Merrick Garland is requesting $85 million in additional funding from Congress to bolster the Justice Department and FBI's efforts to combat domestic terrorism, according to a copy of his opening remarks before a House Appropriations subcommittee.

Why it matters: Garland, FBI Director Christopher Wray and intelligence agencies have repeatedly warned that violent extremists pose an "elevated" threat against the country this year.

  • The attorney general has pledged to crack down on violence linked to white supremacists and right-wing militia groups, and has made prosecuting those involved in the Jan. 6 Capitol siege his top priority.
  • Garland told Congress in February that "we are facing a more dangerous period than we faced in Oklahoma City" in 1995, when an extremist attack killed 168 people and injured over 680 others.

By the numbers: The Justice Department is seeking a $45 million increase in funding for the FBI for domestic terrorism investigations and $40 million for U.S. attorneys to manage domestic terrorism cases.

  • Garland will also ask Congress to increase the agency's civil rights funding by $33 million in part to help protect voting rights and prosecute hate crimes.
  • DOJ also wants an additional $232 million to combat gun violence, and $304 million to go toward community-oriented policing programs and addressing systemic inequities.

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