23 Senators Seek Increased Funding for Public Defenders Through Joint Letter
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23 Senators Seek Increased Funding for Public Defenders Through Joint Letter

| October 9, 2023

Twenty-three Senators of the Democratic party are urging congressional appropriators to raise funding. It is a request to increase the spending amount for federal public defenders. More funding will lead to more spending. 

The plan is to increase it beyond what the spending legislation states. A report from the Reuters Legal section states that it is either this option or the risk of job cuts.

Recently, a letter was sent to the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee. In this letter, the Senators stated the need for more funding for the fiscal year of 2024. 

The amount of funding stated in the letter is significantly more than the pending spending bills. This increase will “maintain the right to counsel in federal court.”

Bills that are mentioned in the letter have not obtained the assent from both chambers of Congress yet. They have to make it through both houses within the Nov. 17 deadline.

If not, there has to be another stop-gap in the spending measures to stop yet another government shutdown.

Senator Peter Welch of Vermont has organized the letter and the other Senators have joined in. Senator Peter used to be a public defender. He is one of the signatories of the 23 Democratic members. They are all a part of the Senate Judiciary Committee of the United States. 

This letter was made out to the Senate Appropriations Committee. It requests an increase in funding to an amount if $1.52 billion at least. It states that this amount will “maintain the right to counsel in federal court and continue the bipartisan support this program has historically received.”

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Debkanya Bhattacharya
Debkanya Bhattacharya

Debkanya is a lawyer turned writer. With an experience of 3 years, she is your go-to source for all things law. She has a soft corner for the US and international section. When the weekend arrives, you'll find her reading up on politics, Austen, or travel blogs over a cup of coffee.


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