Biden Signs Bipartisan Bills Providing Additional Resources for Police

President BidenJoe Biden Florida Republicans Vote To Limit Vaccine Mandates Bill Honoring 13 Service Members Killed In Afghanistan Heads To Biden’s Desk Overnight Defense And Homeland Security – Presented By Boeing – Pentagon Promises More Transparency In air strikes MORE on Thursday he signed a trio of bipartisan bills aimed at providing additional resources for law enforcement officers as his administration emphasizes its support for the police and other agencies.

Biden received a group of legislators and representatives from law enforcement agencies at the White House for the signing of the bill, where he emphasized the bipartisan nature of the three bills and offered another unspoken rebuke to calls from some. on the left to “defund the police.” “

“When you look at what our communities need and what is asked of our law enforcement, it will take more resources, not fewer resources,” Biden said before signing the bills. “That is why my administration is investing in community policing that we know works and in training and partnership that law enforcement agencies have requested in our communities.”

When Biden signed the bills, the Justice Department Announced nearly $ 140 million in grants for local law enforcement. The money, which will go to 183 different agencies, will allow for the hiring of more than 1,000 additional full-time officers. The money will also be used for initiatives to build trust between police and their communities, Biden said.

The first bill Biden signed into law Thursday, the “American First Responders Protection Act of 2021,” ensures that law enforcement agencies and first responders who are injured or disabled in the line of duty receive immediate access to benefits. with cost of living adjustments.

The bill was defended by Sen. Chuck grassleyChuck GrassleyBiden has an approval rating of just 33 percent in Iowa poll Senator Patrick Leahy says he will not seek reelection Senators introduce bipartisan bill to limit mergers of tech giants MORE (R-Iowa) and Sen. Kirsten gillibrandKirsten GillibrandIn Dramatic Change, Director of National Intelligence Doesn’t Rule Out ‘Extraterrestrial’ Origins of UFOs, Sanders Backers Kaiser Permanente Workers Ahead of Monday’s Strike Time to Review Outdated and Unbalanced Military Justice System MORE (DN.Y.), who joined Biden in signing the bill.

The president also signed the “Peer Support Counseling Confidentiality Opportunities Act,” which Biden touted as a way to provide mental health resources to officers for anxiety or other often-overlooked issues.

The bill would provide confidentiality to federal law enforcement officers who take advantage of counseling services, except where officers admit to having committed a crime, and would encourage first responders to adopt counseling programs.

The third bill Biden signed on Thursday is named after Jaime Zapata and Víctor Ávila, two Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents who were attacked by Mexican cartels in 2011. Zapata later died from their wounds.

The bill, also backed by Grassley, would ensure that those who have killed or attempted to kill US federal law enforcement and employees who are abroad can be prosecuted in the United States.

The president concluded Thursday’s remarks with a call for Congress to pass police reform after talks broke down earlier this year.

“I’m asking the bipartisan leaders who are here today to join them as they have done before in finally pushing the George Floyd Police Justice Act. That’s next,” Biden said.

The Biden administration has consistently touted its support for law enforcement, pointing to funding in the American Rescue Plan approved in March and the Department of Justice grant for local departments to hire more officers.

Biden has rejected in the past calls by some progressives to “defund the police,” a slogan that refers to reallocating resources for counseling and other social services, but which moderate Democrats have argued cost him votes. match in 2020.

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