The White House reiterated its opposition to defunding the police on Thursday and cited its efforts on behalf of law enforcement after a Democratic member of Congress was carjacked at gunpoint.

President Joe Biden has received low marks on his handling of gun violence and the crime wave plaguing major cities across the country. White House press secretary Jen Psaki pointed to various initiatives the administration was supporting to increase law enforcement funding.

“This is a priority for the president, I want to be clear that this proposal for additional for the COPS program, has been something the president has proposed several months ago, obviously we’d love to get that passed in the budget next year, we’d love to continue to step up a number of the programs we have around the country,” Psaki told reporters at Thursday’s briefing.


“The president has never supported defunding the police, he has always been an advocate for adequate funding and ensuring that police departments and community policing programs have exactly what they need,” she added.

Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon, a Pennsylvania Democrat, was carjacked in broad daylight on Wednesday. She was unharmed, and Psaki said that Biden had spoken to her.

Biden has struggled to distance Democrats from the “defund the police” movement supported by the most left-wing members of the party.


Redirecting funds from law enforcement to various social programs gained steam among activists after the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, in police custody last year. Even many Democratic operatives concede the movement hurt the party’s candidates in down-ballot races, and centrists have pushed for its repudiation.