Biden to launch gun crime strategy, run Covid fund for police

Biden to launch gun crime strategy, run Covid fund for police

President Joe Biden will launch a comprehensive decide to curb gun crime, including by allowing states and municipalities to tap into coronavirus relief funding to rent cops under certain circumstances.

Biden will unveil the strategy during a speech on Wednesday, officials conversant in the plan said, speaking on condition of anonymity before the announcement. Measures include toughening rules for gun dealers, expanding summer programs for teenagers and doing more to rent people released from prison.

Biden and Attorney General Merrick Garland also will lead a gathering Wednesday at the White House on crime prevention. Among those scheduled to attend are New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal, Baton Rouge captain Murphy Paul and therefore the mayors of Baltimore, Maryland, and Miami-Dade County, Florida.

Biden is initiating the trouble as data show a continued increase in violent crime, one that carried through the pandemic, and as Congress continues to barter over police reform. Polls have also signaled growing unease over crime, a possible liability for Biden and Democrats in next year’s midterm elections.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday that Biden’s strategy on community safety goes hand-in-hand with the trouble by allies to succeed in a deal on police reform.

“Yes, there must be reforms of police systems across the country; the president may be a firm believer therein ,” she said. “But there also are steps he can take, as president of the us , to assist address and hopefully reduce that crime. an enormous a part of that, in his view, is fixing place gun safety measures, using -- whilst Congress isn't moving forward currently -- using the public office , but also using levers at his disposal, as president.”

Cities across the U.S. have experienced increases in violent crime, a trend that Biden’s White House says has been unfolding for years.

The plan that the president will discuss on Wednesday has five pillars, the officials said:

Stem the flow of firearms, including by enacting a zero-tolerance program for gun dealers who “willfully violate the law” and launching teams to slow the trafficking of guns between cities
Bolster funding for enforcement , including by directing the Department of the Treasury to permit communities experiencing a surge in gun violence to use their money from the American Rescue Plan’s $350 billion state and native government funding to rent enforcement officials or pay overtime for community policing strategies
Launch a task force of 14 cities to support community violence intervention programs, which could also tap into Covid aid funds
Expand summer programs and job availability for teens and young adults
Do more to encourage to assist people released from prison get jobs
Some progressive Democrats have also amplified calls to “defund the police,” or redirect money from enforcement to other community programs. That movement has prompted Republican attacks, which Biden has tried to deflect by instead calling for extra money for targeted policing programs.

Biden had hoped for a deal on a police reform bill by late May. Senator Tim Scott, the South Carolina Republican who has been heavily involved within the talks, said he thinks it’s “June or bust” to urge an agreement.

Psaki argued that Biden can move to quell crime without roiling the police reform talks. “Communities across the country who advocate and support police reform, they don’t see it as a mutually exclusive issue; neither does the president,” she said.

A Yahoo News/YouGov poll released in May found that 36% of respondents a minimum of somewhat approved of Biden’s handling of crime, while 44% a minimum of somewhat disapproved. Nearly 50% of respondents said crime may be a very big problem within the U.S.

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