President Biden’s 2023 budget plan, released Monday, increases funding for the police, cementing his party’s turn away from the anti-police rhetoric and policies many lawmakers and activists embraced after the murder of George Floyd two years ago.
The plan sent to Congress allocates more than $32 billion to fighting crime, especially violent crime, with $20.6 billion going to the Department of Justice and $3.2 billion in discretionary resources for funding local and state law enforcement, much of it in the form of grants to hire more police officers. Additionally, $30 billion in mandatory resources will be funneled to “support law enforcement, crime prevention, and community violence intervention.”
The proposal directs $17.4 billion, an increase of $1.7 billion above the 2021 amount, for DOJ law enforcement. That sum includes $1.7 billion for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives to crack-down on gun-trafficking. U.S. Attorneys will be given $72.1 million to prosecute violent crimes.
While the budget appears to be aimed at boosting police numbers and resources to tackle crime, it does so while treating national gun proliferation as a primary culprit, promising to “increase regulation of the firearms industry, enhance ATF’s National Integrated Ballistic Information Network, and modernize the National Tracing Center.”
“Budgets are statements of values, and the budget I am releasing today sends a clear message that we value fiscal responsibility, safety and security at home and around the world, and the investments needed to continue our equitable growth and build a better America,” Biden said in a statement released by the White House.
The proposal also slaps a new minimum tax on billionaires and allocates new spending to bolster Ukraine’s resistance to the Russian invasion, as well as to aid the country’s response to the resulting humanitarian crisis.