With a pro-police, tough-on-crime platform, the House Republicans leadership won control of the chamber. That position is still vacant four months later.
A few times after House Republicans seized control of the House, internal conflicts surfaced. An attempt in January to approve a resolution that would have supported law enforcement organizations and served as a communication tool failed. Behind-the-scenes disputes inside the House GOP show significant splits within the conference on whether to defund or restrict the FBI and Department of Justice. As CNN has learned, some House Republicans are already formulating plans to restrict specific federal law enforcement initiatives through the appropriations process, pushing the divisive political issue back to the fore.
House Republicans Are Under Immense Pressure
The resolution’s sponsor, Republican Rep. Ken Buck of Colorado, a former federal prosecutor, wants to show broad support for all levels of law enforcement. However, a group of hardliners led by House Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan of Ohio intended to limit it to state and local governments, according to various sources.
In January, a separate source familiar with the House GOP conference’s negotiations told CNN, “We were starting a big oversight of the FBI, we didn’t want to lock ourselves in here,” referring to the Judiciary Committee’s effort to investigate the FBI.
Since the January controversy, conversations with more than a dozen members have shown that an increasing number of House Republicans are coming up with ideas on how to implement former President Donald Trump’s promises to tighten up federal law enforcement. After the FBI raided Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in August 2022 as part of a probe into the handling of presidential records, including sensitive documents, support for the president began to grow. And Trump’s arrest by the Manhattan District Attorney at the end of March strengthened that support to respond to the calls.