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Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump has proposed slashing funds for Inspector General offices — nonpartisan government watchdogs — at five different agencies, according to a new report released on Wednesday by Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill.

Why it matters: IGs play an important roll in government accountability and surveillance of potential wrongdoing by government agencies. For example, the FBI's watchdog was tasked with looking into the agency's handling of the Hillary Clinton probe in 2016, as well as the anti-Trump texts between two FBI officials.

The big picture: The proposed budget would cut funding next year for IGs at the Environmental Protection Agency, Homeland Security, State Department, the Treasury, Department of Agriculture, and the Troubled Asset Relief Program, according to the report.

  • The IG offices at the General Services Administration, Defense Department, Veterans Affairs, Health and Human Services and the Justice Department were not given the budget increases requested.

What they're saying: The DHS OIG said that substantially reducing its budget "while increasing the budget and activities of DHS, critically impairs the DHS OIG’s ability to carry out its statutory oversight responsibilities," according to a release by McCaskill's office.

Go deeper

America's Chinese communities struggle with online disinformation

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Disinformation has proliferated on Chinese-language websites and platforms like WeChat that are popular with Chinese speakers in the U.S., just as it has on English-language websites.

Why it matters: There are fewer fact-checking sites and other sources of reliable information in Chinese, making it even harder to push back against disinformation.

Pennsylvania certifies Biden's victory

Photo: Aimee Dilger/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Pennsylvania officials on Tuesday certified the state's presidential election results, making President-elect Joe Biden's win in the key battleground official.

Why it matters: The move deals another blow to President Trump's failed efforts to block certification in key swing states that he lost to Biden. It also comes one day after officials voted to certify Biden's victory in Michigan.