The Biden administration has been dealing with a major crime spike in 2021, and White House press secretary Jen Psaki says the president is ready to outspend his predecessor in pursuit of a solution.
Psaki said Monday that President Joe Biden's proposed budget includes a "significant increase in funding to support police departments, support the fighting of crime, and is significantly increased from former President Trump."
WHITE HOUSE TOUTS ANTI-CRIME EFFORTS AFTER BLAMING VIOLENCE ON PANDEMIC AND GUNS
Violent crime is one of many issues facing the Biden administration, which has blamed the problem on the pandemic and widespread gun ownership.
High-profile crimes include not only waves of retail theft, such as coordinated efforts with dozens of perpetrators looting a single store, but spiking murder rates in major cities across the country.
"This is sort of similar to the crime spike that we saw over the summer, and one of the president's biggest pushes to address that was the Department of Justice strike teams that were sent out to five cities," a reporter said during Monday's briefing. "Since those strike forces were assembled in July, have they accomplished anything?"
Psaki responded that the strike forces were sent to address gun violence specifically, pointed to a $139 million grant program that will hire more than 1,000 officers across the country, and again said the pandemic is a cause for the problem.
"We know that we've seen over the course of time — we'll let other people determine what the cause and effect is — we know we've seen an increase in crime over the course of the pandemic," she said. "What the president has been focused on doing is working to ensure there's funding to support local cops, to support local jurisdictions, to ensure that law enforcement at the federal level is a partner both in the short and long term to address either these spikes in crime or gun violence."
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The president's budget includes "an increase, significantly," over what former Trump proposed during his term in office, Psaki added.