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Biden to ask Congress for $32 billion in police funding to show Americans he is serious about fighting crime

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John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

The "Defund the Police" movement will soon be dealt another major blow, this time by the Biden administration.

What are the details?

On Monday, President Joe Biden will urge Congress to approve more than $32 billion in new spending specifically aimed at fighting crime through law enforcement, Axios reported.

The proposal, included as a part of Biden's 2023 budget plans, puts a price tag on promises he made earlier this month during his first State of the Union address, the outlet noted.

During the address, Biden riled Black Lives Matter and other progressive anti-police activists when he emphatically renounced the movement to strip local police departments of funding and reimagine policing nationwide.

"We should all agree the answer is not to defund the police; it's to fund the police!" he exclaimed. "Fund them. Fund them. Fund them with resources and training," he continued, as Republicans and many Democrats applauded.

The budget proposal will reportedly allocate $20.6 billion over the next fiscal year to the Justice Department for discretionary spending on federal law enforcement, crime prevention, and intervention and will also mandate $30 billion in new spending over the next decade for a variety of programs to expand law enforcement and crime prevention, though details on those programs have yet to be released.

The discretionary spending money is reportedly aimed at increasing resources for federal prosecutors and state and local law enforcement agencies, allowing the latter to hire more officers to police violence in their communities.

It specifically doubles the funding for the COPS Hiring Program and would pay for nearly 300 new deputy marshals and related personnel as well as an additional 140 Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) agents and investigators.

Why does it matter?

Axios reported that the proposal is intended to show Americans that Biden is serious about combatting crime in the U.S. ahead of the midterm elections.

But it may be too little, too late from a political standpoint. The country has been grappling with a continued scourge of violent crime since 2020, and the problem has only gotten worse in many major metropolitan areas — such as Philadelphia and Chicago — since Biden took office.

Americans by and large hold the president and his Democratic counterparts in Congress accountable for the rise in violent crime.

At the least, however, many onlookers may be pleased to see the federal government effectively renounce the "Defund the Police" movement in practice and not just word, even as many progressive communities across the country continue to push anti-police policies.

The message from the Biden administration is clear. "Defund the police" efforts have failed.

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