White House press secretary Jen Psaki repeated a Biden administration claim during a Monday press conference that Republicans defunded the police by opposing the American Rescue Plan (ARP).
The ARP “didn’t receive a single Republican vote. That funding has been used to keep cops on the beat,” Psaki told Fox News’ Peter Doocy. Doocy had asked about a comment from White House senior advisor Cedric Richmond, who told Fox News’ Chris Wallace Sunday that Republicans defunded the police by opposing the COVID relief.
“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,” Richmond claimed. (RELATED: Biden Whips Out A List, Criticizes Republicans Who Didn’t Vote For His Rescue Plan)
Psaki backed up those claims.
“The president did mention that the American Rescue Plan [contained] 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,” she said.
“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,'” Doocy countered.
“It did all of those things,” Psaki claimed. “It was a pretty good bill and piece of legislation.”
Major cities have continued to struggle with spikes in murders. Republicans point to police budget cuts by Democratic Party leaders in cities like New York City, Austin, and Los Angeles, while Democrats are renewing their push for gun control.