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Chairman Rogers calls on Inspectors General to testify about oversight of taxpayer dollars

Chairman Rogers DOJ IG Hearing

WASHINGTON, DC -- U.S. Rep. Harold "Hal" Rogers (KY-05) began his new role as Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, and Science with pointed questions about President Biden's proposed budget for next year from the chief investigators of several federal agencies. In day one of budget hearings, Chairman Rogers brought in Department of Justice Inspector General (IG) Michael Horowitz and Department of Commerce Inspector General Peggy Gustafson to testify about the oversight of their agencies and how taxpayer dollars are being used. 

"With federal debt surpassing $31 trillion, it is imperative that this committee ensure that every dollar provided to the agencies is spent efficiently and appropriately. The President has proposed to increase spending in virtually every area of government and pays for it with proposed tax increases. However, the Appropriations Committee must continue to look for additional savings wherever possible," said Chairman Rogers in his opening statement. "I wanted to start with the Inspectors General because they are supposed to have the most insight into what's going on within their agencies and the problems they face." 

With four federal prison facilities in Chairman Rogers' congressional district, he questioned the Department of Justice's proposed cuts to the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) amid nationwide staffing shortages and a crumbling infrastructure. 

"Since 2015, the Bureau of Prisons has identified staffing shortages. Let the word go forth, that this subcommittee will not abide lack of leadership and if it takes staffing changes, so be it, but we're expecting results. We can't afford to have an agency of this size with this important a mission as the BOP," said Chairman Rogers after IG Horowitz testified that the BOP historically had a leadership problem. 

In a separate budget hearing with Commerce IG Gustafson, Chairman Rogers noted that the Department of Commerce was the recipient of well over $100 billion in additional federal taxpayer dollars over the last two years. Chairman Rogers questioned the department's oversight of an abundance of grant funding and stressed the importance of ensuring rural communities receive fair access to grants for broadband expansion and economic development in coal communities. 

Moving on to the Department of Defense, Chairman Rogers questioned Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Gen. Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, about competition with China and concerns of the communist nation's growing ties with Russia. Sec. Austin affirmed that the Department of Defense plans to invest more in strategies that will better position our troops and improve military infrastructure in the air, on land and at sea. 

For more information about Chairman Rogers' work as a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, visit and follow him on social media. 

Click here to watch the budget hearing with IG Horowitz. 

Click here to watch the budget hearing with IG Gustafson. 

Click here to watch the budget hearing for the Department of Defense.