Biden’s budget earmarks more money for police as White House aims to address crime concerns

The Biden administration addressed its spending proposals to fight crime Monday as officials unveiled the president’s proposed fiscal 2023 budget.

“The budget invests in security at home and abroad. Here at home, it includes important investments to protect our communities, fund crime prevention and community violence interventions, increase the number of community policing officers, fight gun violence and advance criminal justice reform,” said Shalanda Young, director of the White House Budget Offices, during a call with reporters.

The plans for police-related spending come as US cities are facing a sustained spike in homicides. Republicans see crime as a crucial issue in the upcoming midterm elections, and they have taken pains to portray Biden and his Democrats as “crime-soft.”

Related: Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson addresses cops “who put their lives on the line” and defends her approach to prison sentences

The White House said in a statement that Biden’s budget is aimed at putting more cops on strikes by allocating $3.2 billion to state and local grants and $30 billion to “support law enforcement, crime prevention and intervention.” Community Violence”.

There is also $1.7 billion to equip the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Bureau with “more tools to combat gun violence,” the White House said. These include expanding firearms trafficking operations and upgrading a center that detects firearms linked to crime.

In addition, the Department of Justice would receive $367 million, an increase of $101 million from the level passed in 2021, to support police reform, hate crime prosecutions, voting rights enforcement and efforts to promote equitable access to justice . And the budget plan includes $100 million for human resources development services for people in the federal prison system, as well as $106 million to support the use of body cameras for Justice Department law enforcement officers.

In his State of the Union address earlier this month, Biden had addressed money for law enforcement, saying, “The answer is not to disappoint the police. It is supposed to finance the police.”

Meanwhile, Republican rhetoric about crimes was a big part of this month’s Senate confirmation hearing for Biden’s election to the Supreme Court, Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson.

“We are in the midst of a national spate of violent crime and exploding illegal immigration,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said during a speech Thursday. “Incredibly, the Biden administration has nevertheless launched a national campaign to make the Bundesbank systematically softer on crime.”

Now read: Biden’s budget calls for inflation below economists’ forecasts — here’s why

And see: Biden’s budget: Higher taxes for the rich and no clear successor to ‘Build Back Better’

Plus: Biden budget aims to raise $11 billion from digital asset traders and tackle crypto “abuse”. Biden’s budget earmarks more money for police as White House aims to address crime concerns

Brian Lowry

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