President Joe Biden announced his plan for additional police funding during his State of the Union address on Tuesday night (March 1).
“Let’s come together and protect our communities, restore trust and hold law enforcement accountable,” he said before Congress.
“We should all agree the answer is not to defund the police, it’s to fund the police,” President Biden continued. “Fund them. Fund them. Fund them with resources and training. [The] resources and training they need to protect their community. I ask Democrats and Republicans alike to pass my budget and keep our neighborhoods safe.”
President Biden’s proposed American Rescue Plan includes $350 billion for cities, states and counties to hire more police officers and invest in “proven” policing “strategies,” such as “community violence interruption, trusted messengers, breaking the cycle of violence and trauma and giving young people some hope.”
The plan also seeks to reduce gun violence, as President Biden called on Congress to ban assault weapons on Tuesday.
“I ask Congress to pass proven measures to reduce gun violence. Pass universal background checks,” he said. “Why should anyone on a terrorist list be able to purchase a weapon? Ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.”
Politicians and Americans watching President Biden’s State of the Union address reacted to his comments on Twitter.
“With all due respect, Mr. President. You didn’t mention saving Black lives once in this speech,” Rep. Cori Bush tweeted. “All our country has done is given more funding to police. The result? 2021 set a record for fatal police shootings.”
“Defund the police. Invest in our communities,” she added.
“‘The answer is not to defund the police; it’s to fund the police. Fund them with resources and training.’ Where is the evidence that shows throwing more money at the police keeps communities safe?” one journalist wrote.
Listen to a snippet from the president’s State of the Union address below.
Watch: President Biden won bipartisan applause during his first State of the Union address for saying the solution to protecting communities is not to defund the police, but to “fund the police” with resources and training #SOTU2022 https://t.co/jy4N0ipOt9 pic.twitter.com/jjJ3KRlKx6
— TIME (@TIME) March 2, 2022