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How the Default on America Act Threatens Public Safety

The GOP Default on America Act’s 22% spending cut would slash nearly $17 billion in funding for federal law enforcement, courts, and prisons that support public safety. Republicans are gambling with Americans’ safety by threatening to not raise the debt limit.

After attacking Democrats for “defunding the police,” this bill cuts the Department of Justice’s budget by over $8 billion and threatens nearly 30,000 law enforcement jobs

  • The DOA Act cuts nearly $1 billion in grants for state, local, and tribal law enforcement.
  • The bill cuts $1 billion in FBI funding that the agency uses to conduct background checks, solve violent crimes, and combat terrorism.
    • This includes $150 million in cuts to programs created by the Violence Against Women Act, which will especially harm women in Native communities.
  • It eliminates $564 million in funding for the Drug Enforcement Administration, and $384 million more from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

After endless rhetoric about the border, the GOP plan guts funding for border security

  • The bill cuts over $3.8 billion in funding for U.S. Customs and Border Protection and almost $2 billion from U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement.
  • The DOA would reject President Biden’s $4.7 billion proposed investment to strengthen security at the Southwestern Border.
  • This plan shrinks investments in the science and technology that make the Department of Homeland Security more effective by almost $200 million.

Shrinking support programs for vulnerable Americans makes the root economic causes of crime worse, not better

  • The DOA would restrict access to Medicaid, which one study found reduced annual crime by 3.3% after state expansions, saving localities $13 billion per year.
  • Cuts to the Housing Choice Voucher program would also worsen public safety, as one study found that housing assistance made people experiencing homelessness 80% less likely to commit a crime.
  • An analysis of the Supplemental Security Income program shows that young adults who lose benefits were 60% more likely to become incarcerated in the next 20 years.

Cutting federal programs that help people transition back into society after they get out of prison makes it harder for them to get jobs and regain stability 

  • The DOA would cut the Bureau of Prisons’ Occupational Education Program, which provide incarcerated people with employment training and skills to use upon release.
  • The plan would threaten programs created under the bipartisan First Step Act aimed at reducing recidivism for incarcerated people.