Live State of the Union updates: Biden to deliver speech in Congress
Biden promised to defund the police, receiving bipartisan applause.
While speaking about his plan to tackle crime and gun violence, Biden said American leaders should not “abandon our streets or choose between safety and equal justice.”
The answer, Biden said, “is not to defund the police.”
“The answer is to defund the police,” Biden said, as a bipartisan crowd — including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) — rose to a standing ovation. “Fund them! Fund them with resources and training resources and the training they need to protect our community.
Biden said lawmakers must “come together and protect our communities, rebuild trust and hold law enforcement to account.”
“That’s why the Justice Department has required body cameras, banned chokeholds, and restricted no-knock warrants for its officers,” Biden said. “That’s why the US bailout … provided $350 billion that cities, states and counties can use to hire more police, invest in more proven strategies like shutting down communal violence, trusted messengers, breaking the cycle of violence and trauma, giving young people some hope. .”
He encouraged Congress to pass his budget to “keep our neighborhoods safe.”
“We will do everything in my power to suppress the trade in ghost guns that you can buy and assemble at home,” Biden said. “I’m asking Congress to pass proven measures to reduce gun violence, to pass universal background checks. Why should anyone on a terrorist list be able to buy a gun? Why?”