Biden says US needs to ‘fund the police’ for public safety
(CNN) — President Joe Biden on Tuesday traveled to the key political battleground state of Pennsylvania to promote his proposal to bolster police forces across the nation and reduce gun crime, which includes hiring and training 100,000 police officers over the next five years.
“When it comes to public safety in this nation, the answer is not defund the police, it’s fund the police,” Biden told a crowd in Wilkes-Barre.
Biden said, “I’m tired of not giving the kind of help they need. Folks, look, we’re in a situation in this country where we have to give them additional resources they need to get their job done.”
Biden is expected to renew his push for a federal ban on assault weapons as the White House attempts to seize on the momentum spurred by Congress passing the first major federal gun safety legislation in decades earlier this summer.
The President was initially scheduled to unveil his “Safer America Plan” last month in Pennsylvania but his trip was postponed after he tested positive for Covid-19 the morning he was slated to fly to Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.
The plan asks Congress to appropriate more than $10 billion in funding over five years for the COPS Hiring Program in order to help fund the hiring and training of the additional police officers.
The President has repeatedly rejected calls from some Democrats and activists to “defund the police” and cut budgets to police departments and reallocate funding to social services to respond to non-violent crimes. The movement grew to national prominence following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in 2020.
The President’s Tuesday visit to Pennsylvania will be the first of three appearances in the key battleground state over the next week. Biden is slated to deliver a primetime address in Philadelphia on Thursday and scheduled to travel to Pittsburgh on Labor Day.
Biden’s unofficial midterm campaign kickoff took place last week, when he offered one of his sharpest rebukes of MAGA Republicans and told a group of Democratic donors that the “entire philosophy that underpins” the Make America Great Again agenda is “semi-fascism.”
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