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Garland to emphasize national security, civil rights in first congressional appearance as attorney general

Garland to emphasize national security, civil rights in first congressional appearance as attorney general
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In his first appearance before Congress as attorney general, Merrick GarlandMerrick GarlandDOJ proposes crackdown on 'ghost guns' following Biden pledge America's Jewish communities are under attack — Here are 3 things Congress can do Biden set to flex clemency powers MORE intends to emphasize the Department of Justice's (DOJ) commitment to national security and civil rights as he asks lawmakers to support President BidenJoe BidenDefense lawyers for alleged Capitol rioters to get tours of U.S. Capitol Sasse to introduce legislation giving new hires signing bonuses after negative jobs report Three questions about Biden's conservation goals MORE's budget proposal.

In prepared remarks released ahead of a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing Tuesday morning, Garland will highlight the requests for an additional $45 million for the FBI to support domestic terrorism investigations and another $40 million for U.S. attorneys around the country handling an increase in caseloads following the deadly U.S. Capitol riot on Jan. 6.

"First, our budget supports my commitment to protecting our national security, including addressing both  international and domestic terrorism, while respecting civil liberties," Garland plans to tell the subcommittee.

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He also intends to note that the budget request would add $33 million to support the DOJ's civil rights work.

"From protecting voting rights to prosecuting hate crimes like those experienced by our Asian American and Pacific Islander communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, DOJ’s civil rights work is critical to protecting the American dream," Garland's opening statement reads.

Garland has been emphasizing combating domestic terrorism since he was first announced as President Biden's pick for the nation's top law enforcement official. The proposed budget increase comes as federal prosecutors are handling more than 400 cases that have been brought against suspected rioters who stormed the Capitol.

The prosecutions have brought a range of charges in the months since the riot. The most serious of which are conspiracy and obstruction of an official proceeding, which carries a maximum of 20 years in prison. The New York Times reported earlier this year that the DOJ is exploring whether it can build sedition cases against some of the defendants.