The State Department and many other federal agencies struggle to keep up with information requests filed by Congress, reporters, and the general public, but House Republicans have a plan to remedy the situation: cut their funding.
The House Appropriations Committee’s state and foreign operations bill for fiscal 2016 “withholds 15 percent of State Department’s operational funds until requirements related to proper management of Freedom of Information Act [FOIA] and electronic communications are met,” Republicans said in a statement.
Alec Gerlach, a spokesman for the State Department, warned a 15 percent cut would be “counterproductive,” making it harder to keep up with requests for documents from the public and members of Congress.
Of all the bird-brained ideas House Republicans have had over the years, this may be the most stupefying.
The State Department reportedly receives over 20,000 FOIA requests per year and one can only assume that requests from whichever committee of distinguished jackasses is currently investigating a fake scandal account for at least half of them.
It's not clear how cutting the department's operating budget is suppose to hasten the release of information that must go through a vetting process performed by department staff before it can be released. It's not as if the department needs convincing or that cutting their budget would convince them to comply.
One could hardly blame you if you don't even remember why this is a thing and I'm honestly not sure if I even remember at this point. A multitude of Benghazi conspiracy theories were debunked by Republican-controlled committees during the previous session of Congress, but the new session of elected shitkickers is not giving up the hunt for the White Whale.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest panned the Republican bill as playing politics with security.
"Hearing it for the first time, I am struck by the irony that House Republicans, who profess to be significantly concerned about security at U.S. embassies around the world, are threatening to withhold funding for security at our embassies around the world.”