The White House claim Republicans voted to defund the police was fact checked by The Washington Post fact checker Salvador Rizzo, who rebuked it as a “slipshod” claim and awarded it “Three Pinocchios.”
“The American Rescue Plan devoted $350 billion to ‘state and local aid,’ a pot of money that was designed for a variety of budget-plugging purposes,” Rizzo wrote. “Among those is keeping police, teachers and emergency medical technicians at work, but going strictly by the bill text, lawmakers had no guarantee that police would get a slice of the pie.
“What’s more, 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.'”
The Post fact check referenced comments made by President Joe Biden’s senior adviser Cedric Richmond and White House press secretary Jen Psaki.
“Republicans are very good at staying on talking points of who says ‘defund the police,’ but the truth is, they defunded the police,” Richmond claimed.
Also, Psaki brought up the same $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan at a June 23 daily press briefing June 23 referenced by the Post fact check.
But left out of the discussion was her more direct remarks at a future press briefing, claiming the American Rescue Plan, sold as coronavirus relief, but according to Psaki after the fact: “could help ensure local cops were kept on the beat in communities across the country.”
“As you know, [it] didn’t receive a single Republican vote,” she added. “That funding has been used to keep cops on the beat.”
Rizzo did point out the diverting of unspent coronavirus relief for state and local governments was first mentioned by Biden months after the bill was passed.
“Biden announced on June 23 that he was urging cities experiencing an increase in crime to tap funds in his coronavirus relief bill ‘to hire police officers needed for community policing and to pay their overtime,'” Rizzo wrote.
“But that was not included in the text of the legislation itself, so lawmakers had no guarantee before voting on the bill that some of these funds would go to police departments.
“Of the $1.9 trillion total in the American Rescue Plan, $350 billion was designated for ‘states, territories, and tribal governments to mitigate the fiscal effects stemming from the COVID-19 public health emergency.'”
Rizzo did dig to find an instance – one never referenced by the Biden White House in their claims, he admits – to suggest Republicans had at one point voted to cut police funding, which he used to declare: “That’s the only thing keeping this talking point from being a Four Pinocchio claim.”
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.