Yesterday, President Biden took new, historic actions in the fight against violent crime, continuing to lead on a life and death issue that the American people demand be addressed.
Last week’s House Freedom Caucus proposal remains the only budget vision put forward by House Republicans, and it sends deeply concerning signals about this issue.
As President Biden has warned, the Freedom Caucus plan would defund the police by cutting 20% of federal funding for law enforcement, assuming their proposed cuts are spread evenly.
It also aims to reverse the Biden Administration’s common sense step to more strictly regulate stabilizing braces attached to pistols – the weapon of choice for mass shooters in Boulder and Dayton.
These glaring facts about the House Freedom Caucus’s approach add to the questions House Republicans need to answer about their elusive budget and about where they stand.
This also comes as a slew of MAGA congressional Republicans advocate for abolishing the FBI and the ATF – the first people to respond to a mass shooting after state and local police.
What’s more, Republicans in Congress, joined by the Trump Administration, have spent years trying to defund the police by slashing funding for the COPS program – a key way the federal government supports state and local law enforcement.
Republicans in Congress refuse to pass an assault weapons ban, instead allowing police to continue to be outgunned on our streets.
They also sided against President Biden, congressional Democrats, and law enforcement when they attempted to block the money we put in place to stop police layoffs during the pandemic.
Instead of defunding law enforcement and undermining the fight against violent crime, President Biden and congressional Democrats are pushing to increase funding for accountable community police, to pass an assault weapons ban, and require background checks for all gun sales. All of those measures will save American lives and prevent law enforcement from being outgunned on the street.
Yet again, as the House Republican Conference delays sharing their budget with the American people, they need to decide what their values are.
Will they reverse their years-long campaign to defund the police by paring back the COPS program, and join President Biden in strengthening it?
Will they reverse their attacks on policies that reduce gun crime, and join President Biden in banning assault weapons?
Will they rebuke their members who wish to cancel the FBI and the ATF, and join President Biden in backing them?
By every measure, the American people agree with President Biden on each of these life and death issues. They will not accept further GOP sabotage of the fight against violent crime, or of law enforcement. They will not accept more siding with the gun lobby over our national efforts to stop gun crime, or more siding against law enforcement in the name of partisan ideology.
Andrew Bates is the White House Deputy Press Secretary and Senior Communications Adviser.
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