FBI Chief Wants $11.3B: How Much Do ‘Elevated Threats’ Really Cost?

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Christopher Wray says the FBI’s budget request “will allow the FBI to invest resources in counterterrorism programs previously funded before the FY 2024 appropriation.”

Isn’t that convenient? Christopher Wray wants $11.3 billion for the FBI’s 2025 fiscal year, claiming it’s vital for handling the laundry list of law enforcement and national security issues his agency is facing. Here’s a man who starts his pitch by thanking us for the “support over the years.” Support? It’s more like putting up with the endless bungling and overreach.

Wray appeared before the Senate Appropriations Committee and wasted no time pointing out that the FBI’s current budget is nearly $500 million short of what it” needs” to continue its efforts from 2023. Apparently, the fiscal tightening is just too much for our top law enforcement agency, despite the nation itself being in a financial pinch.

The FBI director didn’t hesitate to emphasize the heightened terror threats, especially after the October 7 Hamas attacks in Israel. He paints a picture of a world on fire: terrorists, drug cartels, cyber attacks, and violent crime are all on the rise, and he wants us to believe the only solution is a massive cash infusion into the FBI.

Then, Wray pivots to terrorism, placing it high on his list of concerns. He claims the biggest domestic threats come from racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists (RMVEs) and anti-government or anti-authority violent extremists (AGAAVEs). Internationally, he points to homegrown violent extremists (HVEs) radicalized within the U.S. These folks, according to Wray, are inspired by foreign terrorist organizations but operate independently. Conveniently, he mentions the Israel-Hamas conflict, saying it poses a significant risk to Jewish, Muslim, and Arab-American communities in the U.S.

As if that’s not enough, Wray also waves the flag of national security, pointing fingers at China, Russia, and Iran. He brands China the biggest long-term threat, accusing them of economic espionage and using every trick in the book to undermine U.S. innovation and security. Russia and North Korea aren’t far behind, with their cyber-attacks aiming to disrupt our infrastructure and steal research.

And let’s not forget the scourge of fentanyl and other deadly narcotics pouring across our southern border, courtesy of drug cartels. Wray bemoans the skyrocketing violent crime rates since the COVID-19 pandemic as if that’s an excuse for the FBI’s shortfall.

Wray’s shopping list includes $7 million to boost cyber response capabilities and $17.5 million to add 44 new positions to counter foreign threats. He throws in the usual buzzwords about combating transnational criminal organizations, disrupting human trafficking, and protecting children from online exploitation. It’s a grab bag of every conceivable threat, all used to justify a swollen budget.

Oh, and let’s not overlook the firearms background checks. Wray reminds us that in the first month of operation back in 1998, they processed 892,840 checks. Fast forward to 2023, and they’re dealing with about 2.4 million checks per month. He wants $8.4 million more to handle this increased volume to uphold the “Bipartisan Safer Communities Act.”

So, here we are, being told that without this $11.3 billion, the FBI can’t protect us from terrorists, cybercriminals, drug cartels, or even keep up with background checks. The message is clear: fork over the cash or face the consequences. This is classic bureaucratic fear-mongering at its finest, with Wray at the helm, playing the role of the concerned protector.

But let’s be honest: throwing more money at the FBI won’t magically fix these issues. What we need is accountability, efficiency, and a focus on real threats, not just an ever-growing budget to feed the beast. If Wray and his agency can’t do the job with the resources they have, it’s time to find someone who can.