The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights announced Friday it will commence a two-year investigation to learn whether President Trump's proposed budget and staffing cuts to civil rights offices across the country will hurt their ability to function.
The independent, bipartisan federal agency voted unanimously to launch the probe out of concern the budget "would result in a dangerous reduction of civil rights enforcement across the country, leaving communities of color, LGBT people, older people, people with disabilities, and other marginalized groups exposed to greater risk of discrimination."
Among offices set to be affected by the possible budget cut is the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, which could see 121 positions eradicated.
The Education Department is also set to lose 46 full-time employees in its Office for Civil Rights, while the Labor Department, Health and Human Services Department and Environmental Protection Agency are also bracing for cuts.
The commission touted its congressional authority to look into the issue.
"For 60 years, Congress has charged the Commission to monitor Federal civil rights enforcement and recommend necessary change. We take this charge seriously, and we look forward to reporting our findings to Congress, the President, and the American people," Commission Chair Catherine Lhamon said in a statement.
Government departments and agencies are not the only ones being examined in the probe. The commission said it will also look at cabinet and senior administration officials.