Christopher A. Wray
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Washington, D.C.
June 4, 2024

Director Wray's Opening Statement to the Senate Appropriations Committee Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies

Remarks, as prepared for delivery.

Good afternoon, Chair Shaheen, Ranking Member Moran, and members of the subcommittee.

I’m proud to be here today representing the 38,000 men and women who make up the FBI.

Every day, our people are working relentlessly to outpace our adversaries and stay ahead of complex and evolving threats, so I’d first like to thank you for your support over the years of our efforts to achieve our mission of protecting the American people and upholding the Constitution.

At the same time, I also realize the reality of the environment we’re in today, where so many agencies are dealing with tightening budgets. And this year, the FBI is one of those agencies, with our fiscal year 2024 budget having now come in almost $500 million dollars below what the FBI needs just to sustain our 2023 efforts.

And while I appreciate this subcommittee’s efforts to blunt any cuts, candidly, this could not come at a worse time.

When I sat here last year, I walked through how we were already in a heightened threat environment. Since then:

  1. We’ve seen the threat from foreign terrorists rise to a whole 'nother level after October 7;
  2. We continue to see the cartels push fentanyl and other dangerous drugs into every corner of the country, claiming countless American lives;
  3. We’ve seen a spate of ransomware and other cyberattacks impacting parts of our critical infrastructure and businesses large and small;
  4. Violent crime, which reached alarming levels coming out of the pandemic, remains far too high and is impacting far too many communities; [and]
  5. China continues its relentless efforts to steal our intellectual property and most valuable information.

And that’s just scratching the surface.

Looking back over my career in law enforcement, I’d be hard pressed to think of a time when so many different threats to our public safety and national security were so elevated all at once, but that is the case as I sit here today.

And while we’ve always found ways at the FBI to innovate and make the most with what we have, this is, by no means, a time to let up or dial back. This is a time when we need your support the most, and I look forward to working with the subcommittee to get things back on track, because right now, we need investments in the people and the resources required to keep Americans safe.

I’ll stack the FBI’s workforce up against anyone, anywhere, at any time. They’re innovative, they’re efficient, they’re relentless—and they’re patriots.

And we’ve been fortunate at the FBI in recent years that our recruiting has gone through the roof. Americans are applying in droves to devote their lives to a career with us protecting others, but we need more positions to be able to bring all the good people we can to the fight—certainly not fewer.

And, as great as our people are, we also need to equip them with the necessary tools required to tackle today’s threats. Now’s not the time for less; to fulfill our mission, the men and women of the FBI need more.


Just in the time I’ve been Director, we’ve disrupted multiple terrorist attacks in cities and communities around the country. We need funding to continue protecting America from terrorism.

I touched on this earlier, but there was already a heightened risk of violence in the United States before October 7. Since then, we’ve seen a rogue’s gallery of foreign terrorist organizations call for attacks against Americans and our allies. Given those calls for action, our most immediate concern has been that individuals or small groups will draw twisted inspiration from the events in the Middle East to carry out attacks here at home.

But, now, increasingly concerning is the potential for a coordinated attack here in the homeland, akin to the ISIS-K[horasan] attack we saw at the Russia Concert Hall in March.


We’re up to something like 2,000 active cases across all 56 of our field offices focused on the PRC’s [People's Republic of China's] efforts to try to steal our information and our technology. We need funding to continue countering the threat posed by the PRC—a government sparing no expense in its quest to hack, lie, cheat, and steal its way to the top as a global superpower, and to undermine our democracy and our economic success.


We’re investigating more than 100 different ransomware variants—each impacting scores of victims—and that’s just ransomware. We need funding to continue disrupting all kinds of cyber threats—certainly those from China, but also from a crowded field of sophisticated criminals and other hostile nation-states like Russia, Iran, and North Korea.

The Fentanyl Epidemic

We’ve got close to 400 investigations just into cartel leadership, and time and again, we’re seizing enough fentanyl to wipe out entire states. We need funding to continue thwarting the range of threats emanating from the border—fentanyl, gangs like MS-13, and human trafficking.

Violent Crime

Last year, our Safe Streets and Violent Crime task forces arrested something like 50 bad guys per day, every day. We need funding to continue fighting the violent crime that remains at levels in this country that are still too high.

Child Exploitation

Our dedicated agents, analysts, and professional staff working violent crimes against children are arresting hundreds of predators and rescuing hundreds of victims each and every year. We need funding to continue protecting our most vulnerable victims from their tormentors.

In all these areas I just mentioned, we’re working closely with our partners at all levels of government to achieve our shared goals of keeping our communities safe and protecting Americans from harm.

Every day, FBI agents, analysts and professional staff are working shoulder-to-shoulder with thousands of task force officers from hundreds of different police departments and sheriffs’ offices all over the country on our FBI-led task forces.

On top of that, we provide technology and expertise, valuable investigative leads like DNA matches, and cutting-edge training to law enforcement nationwide to help them keep our communities safe.

So, as I know this subcommittee recognizes, cuts to us are cuts to our partners: state and local law enforcement agencies, and officers who are on the ground, putting themselves in the line of fire—often quite literally.

That’s just one way cuts are going to have real impacts on the American people.

Yes, despite best efforts, we took a hit in the 2024 budget, but 2025 is a chance to get back on track and provide the FBI’s men and women the tools and resources the American people need us to have to keep them safe.

Thank you, again, for having me here today, and I look forward to our discussion.