Should Biden do this?
As the summer approaches, President Joe Biden has called on mayors and local leaders to redirect funds from the American Rescue Plan to spend more on policing and safety programs.
In an event at the White House with mayors and police chiefs, Biden said, “It’s up to the cities, the towns, and the counties to spend the money and spend it now.”
Following Biden’s statements, the White House announced it would be redirecting $10 billion of the American Rescue Plan, the covid relief bill that Biden signed into law last year, to violence prevention and public safety.
Biden continued, “It’s there, it’s been appropriated. We know the challenges we’re facing as we head into this summer. We need to meet those challenges with a sense of urgency, which this group is doing.”
He then went on to urge the group to “Use these funds… to prioritize public safety,” adding that they should “Do it quickly before this summer when crime rates typically surge.”
“Taking action today is going to save lives tomorrow. So use the money, hire the police officers, build up your emergency response systems, invest in proven solutions,” Biden added.
Biden also touted the relief package restoring 460,000 jobs, including among police officers, before turning his attention to criticizing Republicans for not voting for the legislation.
He added that Republicans had now embraced the legislation because “they’re realizing this is going to make a difference and beginning to make a difference.”
$6.5 billion of the $10 billion has been allocated to state and local fiscal recovery fund investments in addition to $1 billion in bonuses for front-line public safety workers.