Biden White House says congressional Republicans are trying to ‘defund’ police and FBI amid crime crisis

EXCLUSIVE: The White House criticizes congressional Republicans, accusing them of working to ‘defund the police’, ‘defund the FBI’ and of choosing the ‘gun lobby over fighting gun crime’ in opposing the Assault weapons ban legislation backed by President Biden and Democrats.

The White House told Fox News Digital they take offense to trying to hold Republicans accountable for obstructing legislation banning assault weapons.

The official told Fox News Digital that the American people “know” that passing the assault weapons ban legislation is “the key to addressing the rise in violent crime,” which the official said. said the Biden administration “inherited from the Trump administration.”

The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives voted in favor of an assault weapons ban in July. The legislation is currently pending in the Senate.


According to the bill’s summary, the 2022 Assault Weapons Ban would make it illegal to “knowingly import, sell, manufacture, transfer, or possess a semi-automatic assault weapon (SAW) or a High Capacity Ammunition Feeder (LCAFD)”.

The ban on semi-automatic weapons comes after mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, New York.

“Devastatingly for the country, Congressional Republicans have chosen the gun lobby over fighting gun crime by opposing the assault weapons ban that the President and congressional Democrats support. all,” White House Deputy Press Secretary Andrew Bates told Fox News Digital. “They are literally siding with gun company profits instead of protecting Americans and preventing law enforcement from being outgunned.”

Bates also told Fox News Digital that when Biden “inherited a rising violent crime rate, every Republican in Congress voted against the critical funding we provided to prevent police firings from happening across the board.” the country”.

Bates also said Republicans “have continually tried to defund the police by voting to eliminate the COPS program created by the president, and even advocate defunding the FBI.”

The Community Oriented Policing (COPS) program to which Bates refers was created in the 1994 Crime Bill sponsored by the then Senator. Biden and is the primary means by which the federal government funds local police.

“The president and congressional Democrats know the answer is to fund law enforcement and keep the weapons of war out of the hands of criminals,” Bates said.


When asked to respond to the White House accusation, a senior GOP official in the Senate said, “Roll the reel of team highlights.”

Progressive Democrats in 2020 pushed the message “defund the police” after the death of George Floyd in police custody.

Biden, however, has repeatedly said he doesn’t think the police should be defunded and has signed a number of bipartisan laws in favor of law enforcement.

However, the White House comments come as crime is on the rise in major cities and Republicans are seizing the issue ahead of the midterm elections.

The issue of crime is front and center in competitive Senate races, including in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Nevada, and is also a major issue in dozens of House races and gubernatorial campaigns. .

Republicans say Democrats across the country are soft on crime and focus their messaging on public safety and through a pro-law enforcement lens.

“For those who keep the accounts at home, the same Democrats who tell you without laughing that inflation is zero, the border is secure and men can get pregnant now want to pretend that they are the party that supports the law enforcement and solve the crime crisis that their policies have created,” an aide to the House GOP leadership told Fox News Digital.

“The American people understand reality and see through their ridiculous claims,” the aide said.

A recent poll indicates that voters believe Republicans are better equipped to handle the issue that now matters more to them than abortion, just weeks before the midterm elections in November.

According to the survey conducted for ABC News by Langer Research Associates in New York, the economy (89%), education (77%) and inflation (76%) top the list of issues that voters consider ” very important” heading into the midterms, but these issues were closely followed by crime at 69%, which beat abortion at 62%.


The comments also come as the FBI released its annual National Crime Report in 2021, showing murders rising slightly above historic figures for 2020.

Murders rose 4.3% last year, from 22,000 to 22,900, while rape cases also rose. The FBI acknowledges that violent crime is at the very least consistent with the high levels seen in 2020, which jumped nearly 30% from 2019.

Nonetheless, violent crime has declined slightly across the country, dropping 1% from 1,326,600 in 2020 to 1,313,200 in 2021.

The new data collection methodology failed to receive complete data sets from nearly 40% of police departments across the country – including massive departments in cities such as New York and Los Angeles.

Approximately 9,700 law enforcement agencies did not provide complete reports to the FBI by the March 2022 deadline. Prior to the switch to the new methodology, the FBI was able to receive data from more than 95% of law enforcement agencies.

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