(USA Features) The Washington Post published a fact-check of Democratic and White House claims that Republicans had actually voted to “defund” police and found the claim to be false.
“Although Republicans all opposed Biden’s coronavirus relief package, no one voted to cut, or defund, anything,” the paper noted Wednesday.
Last month, White House press secretary Jen Psaki claimed of the package, “That was voted into law by Democrats just a couple of months ago. Some might say that the other party was for defunding the police; I’ll let others say that, but that’s a piece.”
In addition, former Democratic congressman-turned Biden adviser Cedric Richmond also claimed directly that Republicans voted to defund police.
“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,” he said in a Fox News interview.
“And in fact, they didn’t get funding until the American Rescue Plan, which, our plan allowed state and local governments to replenish their police departments and do the other things that are needed,” Richmond continued.
“So look, Republicans are very good at staying on talking points of who says ‘defund the police,’ but the truth is, they defunded the police,” he added.
Not so, the Post determined, adding that “voting against a one-time infusion of cash is not the same as voting to cut funding, so there is little basis to claim that Republicans are trying to ‘defund the police.’”
Several Democrats, including President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, have openly supported state and local efforts to defund police departments, however.
During his campaign, for instance, Biden said he supported reallocating police resources.
Harris, meanwhile, said “I applaud (L.A. Mayor) Eric Garcetti” for defunding the Los Angeles police, adding “we have to reimagine public safety” while she was discussing lowering the police presence in communities.
Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta once said officials should heed calls to “decrease police budgets and the scope, role, and responsibility of police in our lives.”
And while he was still Boston’s mayor, Biden’s secretary of labor, Marty Walsh, proposed a budget to divert funding from law enforcement.
Rep. Val Demmings, D-Fla., a former Orlando police chief who is seeking to challenge GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis next year, also called the Minneapolis City Council “very thoughtful” for voting to dismantle the police.
And Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota has called for completely dismantling the Minneapolis P.D. after George Floyd’s death.