The Biden administration, struggling to contain a surging crime wave across the U.S., is attempting to deflect blame by pushing the outrageous claim that the Republican Party is responsible for defunding the police. The new narrative from the Biden administration flies in the face of the fact that Democrats were the ones who primarily pushed the extreme “defund the police” agenda over the last year.
During a press briefing on Monday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki doubled down on the claim made by Biden adviser Cedric Richmond over the weekend when he claimed that Republicans were the ones who defunded the police.
Here’s the interaction:
PETER DOOCY, FOX NEWS REPORTER: Okay. Something one of the advisors said this weekend — Cedric Richmond — he said, “Republicans defunded the police by not supporting the American Rescue Plan.” But how is it that that is 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?
JEN PSAKI, WH PRESS SECRETARY: Well, the President did mention that the American Rescue Plan, they’ll — 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. As you know, it didn’t receive a single Republican vote. That funding has been used to keep cops on the beat.
DOOCY: But at the time, that was sold as: These local police departments might have a pandemic-related budget shortfall — not, “We need to keep cops on the beat because there’s crime wave.”
PSAKI: 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, fire police is something that helps them address —
PSAKI: — crime in their local communities.
DOOCY: But those are the local communities. The White House’s argument was: The American Rescue Plan is going to be $1,400 checks. It’s going to be vaccines, vaccinators. We’re — it’s going to put us on the path to beating the virus, not —
PSAKI: It did those things as well. It was a pretty good bill and piece of legislation.
Absolutely shameless. Under questioning from Fox's Peter Doocy, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki argues it's *Republicans* who have been defunding the police and not supporting law enforcement because they didn't vote for Biden's stimulus boondoggle the American Rescue Plan. pic.twitter.com/pIwfFkonu1
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) June 28, 2021
Republicans opposed the American Rescue Plan because the U.S. economy was already showing signs of recovering and they argued that the American Rescue Plan, a $1.9 trillion stimulus, was irresponsible and a massive waste of taxpayer money. Inflation has skyrocketed in the months since the Democrats’ stimulus bill was passed.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell argued that another reason that Republicans opposed the bill was because it would “wipe out the budget deficit of New York State, and eliminate a big part of the deficit in San Francisco,” courtesy of the American taxpayer. The argument had been that it was a bailout for poorly managed Democrat-controlled areas.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy argued the same thing during a speech on the House floor, saying that the bill “gives San Francisco $600 million, essentially wiping out 92 percent of their budget deficit.”
“Now, even the Biden White House agrees: it is very liberal. They called it the ‘most progressive piece of legislation in history,’” McCarthy said, noting that the bill was a highly partisan progressive wish list that came at the expense of the American taxpayer. “So let’s be clear: This isn’t a rescue bill. It isn’t a relief bill. It’s a laundry list of leftwing priorities that predate the pandemic and do not meet the needs of American families.”
Democrats, on the other hand, have explicitly called for defunding the police and have pushed measures to make it happen.
Police departments across are experiencing a staffing crisis following months of demonization by Democrats who called the police “cancer” and pushed for “no more policing.” The crisis comes as homicide rates increased 30% last year and have already increased 24% this year, The New York Times reported.
Forbes Magazine reported last year on numerous Democrat-controlled cities that took action to defund the police in wake of the far-left riots that gripped the country following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
The GOP quickly responded by releasing a list highlighting just a few examples of big name Democrats who they say called for either defunding the police or reallocating police resources over the last year:
- Joe Biden said he supported reallocating police resources during the campaign.
- Kamala Harris said “I applaud Eric Garcetti” for defunding the Los Angeles police.
- Harris said “we have to reimagine public safety” while discussing lowering the police presence in communities.
- Biden’s Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta said officials must heed calls to “decrease police budgets and the scope, role, and responsibility of police in our lives.”
- As Boston Mayor, Biden’s Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh proposed a budget to divert funding from law enforcement.
- Biden’s Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke supported efforts to “defund the police.”
- Democrat Rep. Val Demings called the Minneapolis City Council “very thoughtful” for voting to dismantle the police.
- Nancy Pelosi and fellow House Democrats refused to criticize the Minneapolis City Council for defunding the police.
- Democrat Maxine Waters called for protestors to “get more confrontational” with police.
- Democrat Ilhan Omar called for dismantling the Minneapolis Police Department.
- Democrat Cori Bush called for defunding police as a congresswoman-elect.
- A Democratic National Convention panelist advocated for defunding the police: “We’re talking about abolishing the police…ICE…prisons.”
- A Minneapolis City Council member defended defunding the police, but said she didn’t “have all the answers” on who would respond to violent crime.
- Democrat Rep. Jim Clyburn compared federal law enforcement to the Nazi Gestapo, and later ignored looting and arson in D.C., claiming the only violence he saw in D.C. was from police.
- Democrat Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said he doesn’t want police officers to respond to rape.
- Former Democrat Rep. Joe Kennedy said he supported Maxine Waters’ call to confront the police.
Psaki’s claim comes as the Democrat-controlled Oakland City Council voted late last week to cut funds from the police budget.
The same day Psaki tells a room full of reporters that it's not her party doing this. Can't make it up. https://t.co/eeGtjKLDhh
— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) June 29, 2021
There was also significant pushback online to Psaki’s claims:
Right, it was the GOP Minneapolis city council who said they wanted to abolish their police department, it was the GOP New York City council who took away $1 billion from their police, and it was the GOP Portland city council who cut $15 million.
Oh wait, those were Dems. https://t.co/RL3ACSChPz
— Julio Rosas (@Julio_Rosas11) June 28, 2021
— Tom Cotton (@TomCottonAR) June 28, 2021
Wow — they test-drove this with Cedric Richmond on Sunday shows. Confirms that WH strategy to respond to rising crime is to.. gaslight.
✅Bipartisan majorities sent TONS in state/local $ in CARES
✅States are GIVING that $ away
✅American Rescue Plan has NOT improved crime https://t.co/Vp7H7ms11L
— Matt Whitlock (@mattdizwhitlock) June 28, 2021
Good reminder that after months of bad polling for Democrats on rising crime, the White House made a MAJOR SPEECH where the President had ZERO new ideas to make neighborhoods safer.
This dishonest messaging strategy isn't going to help them with voters they're losing on crime. https://t.co/Vp7H7ms11L
— Matt Whitlock (@mattdizwhitlock) June 28, 2021
This tells you a lot about 2022 polling. https://t.co/gYQqmBdTdR
— Kevin Kiley for CA Governor 2021 (@RealKiraDavis) June 28, 2021
You just wonder what the internal polling told them. https://t.co/2XY5JB1FQD
— Michael Brendan Dougherty (@michaelbd) June 28, 2021