President Joe Biden will unveil an expanded budget request to Congress on Thursday with $37 billion in funding for law enforcement and crime prevention for what the White House calls his “Plan for a Safer America.”
But Biden’s request is ambitious — it’s for fiscal year 2023, which for the US government begins in October, and it must be approved by Congress. Presidential administrations past and present often make large and ambitious budget requests as a messaging tool, only to see them not materialize or be scaled back.
As part of its “Safer America Plan,” the White House said Biden would seek “new fully paid investment of approximately $35 billion to support law enforcement and crime prevention — in addition to the $2 billion discretionary request from the President for these same programs.”
According to the White House, the requested funding would be used to hire and train 100,000 new police officers for “responsible community policing”, eliminate court backlogs, solve murders and set up community task forces to share intelligence. The funds would also target crimes not directly related to guns, such as fentanyl trafficking.
Additionally, the White House said the plan would establish a $15 billion grant program for states and cities to use over the next 10 years that would prevent violent crime and help “identify non-violent situations that might merit a public health or other response.” .”
“The President will also continue to call on Congress to take additional action against guns,” the White House added, “including requiring background checks for all gun sales, banning guns assault and high-capacity magazines, closing the loophole in the dating violence prohibition ordinance, and prohibiting the manufacture, sale or possession of ‘ghost guns’ without serial numbers.”
On Thursday afternoon, Biden will travel to Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, where he will deliver remarks on gun violence, gun laws and policing at Wilkes University.
The president’s budget request follows a series of mass shootings across the United States this summer, including one at a July 4 parade in Highland Park, Illinois, another in a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, and an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.