At today’s meeting of the National Research Council’s Committee on Law and Justice, I learned that the House of Representatives has voted to “zero out” core funding for the National Institute of Justice and the Bureau of Justice Statistics. That wouldn’t abolish those agencies; instead, the Office of Justice Programs would be invited to take money out of program funds (mostly grants to states and localities) to fund the research mission. (See p. 43 of the committee report.)

This is of a piece with the earlier House vote to slash the National Science Foundation’s social-science budget.

Of course I felt like a fool for not knowing about the NIJ/BJS budget disaster. But a fairly thorough Google search turns up no media mention of that vote. I suppose by now “Republicans vote for more ignorance” is a dog-bites-man story, not worth reporting.  But when this sort of maneuver goes on in the dark, it’s harder to mobilize any sort of protest.

[Cross-posted at The Reality-Based Community]

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Mark Kleiman is a professor of public policy at the New York University Marron Institute.