Psaki stands by claims that Republicans are responsible for defunding the police

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White House press secretary Jen Psaki stood by claims made by President Joe Biden adviser Cedric Richmond that Republicans defunded America’s police departments.

"'Republicans defunded the police,'" Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy quoted Richmond as saying in a question to Psaki, "'by not supporting the American Rescue Plan.' But how is that an argument to be made when the president never mentioned needing money for police to stop a crime wave when he was selling the American Rescue Plan?"

"The president did mention ... that the American Rescue Plan, the state and local funding, something that was supported by the president, a lot of Democrats who supported and voted for the bill, could help ensure local cops were kept on the beat in communities across the country,” Psaki responded.

TOP BIDEN ADVISER BLAMES GUNS FOR CRIME SURGE AND INSISTS REPUBLICANS DEFUNDED POLICE

“As you know, didn't receive a single Republican vote,” she added. “That funding has been used to keep cops on the beat.”

But Doocy noted that the bill was meant to address local budget shortfalls and wasn’t aimed at stopping the rising crime that has plagued much of the country.

"I think that any local department would argue that keeping cops on the beat to keep communities safe when they had to, because of budget shortfalls, [firing] police is something that helps them address crime in their communities," Psaki responded.

Psaki’s answer comes as Biden has attempted to pin the blame for America’s surge in crime on gun violence, saying last week that his administration was providing new guidance to local governments on how to use federal funds to combat the surge of crime.

“We’re now providing more guidance on how they can use the $350 billion nationally that the American Rescue Plan has available to help reduce crime and address the root causes,” Biden said. “For example, cities experiencing an increase in gun violence were able to use the American Rescue Plan dollars to hire police officers needed for community policing and to pay their overtime.”

But Republicans have argued that the blame should actually be placed on Democratic-controlled cities, some of which have moved to defund or scale back funding for their police departments.

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“This bill actually prevents against local governments defunding law enforcement,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said after signing a bill that aimed to punish local governments that move to defund police. “We’ll be able to stop it at the state level. And if you look at some of these places that have done this, they’ve already seen crime go up.”

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Tags: News, Jen Psaki, Joe Biden, Gun Violence, Crime, Law Enforcement, Ron DeSantis

Original Author: Michael Lee

Original Location: Psaki stands by claims that Republicans are responsible for defunding the police