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WaPo nails Biden White House, Psaki with 3 Pinocchios for their claims that GOP is defunding police
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WaPo nails Biden White House, Psaki with 3 Pinocchios for their claims that GOP is defunding police

The Washington Post hit White House press secretary Jen Psaki and the Biden administration with "three Pinocchios" for claiming that Republicans are "defunding the police."

What are the details?

In recent remarks, Psaki and senior Biden adviser Cedric Richmond both said that the GOP's opposition to Biden's staggering $1.9 trillion COVID-19 rescue plan was akin to supporting the "defund the police" movement, as $350 billion of the bill was earmarked for state and local government aid.

Richmond told "Fox News Sunday" last month that it was the GOP who defunded the police.

At the time, Richmond said, "Let's talk about who defunded the police. When we were in Congress last year trying to pass ... an emergency relief plan for cities that were cash-strapped and laying off police and firefighters, it was the Republicans who objected to it. And in fact, they didn't get funding until the American Rescue Plan, which, in our plan allowed state and local governments to replenish their police departments and do the other things that are needed. So look, Republicans are very good at staying on talking points of who says 'Defund the police,' but the truth is, they defunded the police."

In late June, Psaki told reporters that the American Rescue Plan was "voted into law by Democrats."

"Some might say that the other party was for defunding police; I'll let others say that, but that's a piece," she said at the time.

However, the Post fact-check explained, "Although Republicans all opposed Biden's coronavirus relief package, no one voted to cut, or defund, anything. Rather, Democrats proposed $350 billion in emergency funds for state and local governments, and Republicans voted against those extra funds. That's not a reduction."

What else?

The paper concluded that there was no evidence backing up the White House's remarks that the GOP wanted to defund the police.

"In response to our questions, White House officials said Republicans were 'effectively' trying to defund the police by withholding support for the coronavirus relief package and by proposing to claw back some of the $350 billion in state and local aid amid ongoing infrastructure negotiations," the Post added. "In this case, there's not even a line item to attach to the White House's claim that Republicans are trying to defund the police."

"[G]oing strictly by the bill text, lawmakers had no guarantee that police would get a slice of the pie," the Post said. "What's more, voting against a one-time infusion of cash is not the same as voting to cut funding, so there is little basis to claim that Republicans are trying to 'defund the police.'"

"Overall, we award Three Pinnochios," the paper concluded.

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