White House press secretary Jen Psaki admitted Monday an "underfunding" of police departments are contributing to a surging crime rate.
Psaki suggested the rise in crime was due to rising gun violence but conceded a lack of funding and resources to specific police departments could be perpetuating the crisis.
"Well, I think we should be responsible in how we're reporting to the public what the roles are and what the reasons are for the surge in crime," Psaki told reporters at the White House press briefing. "Gun violence is a huge reason for the surge in crime. Underfunding of some police departments and their need for additional resources, something the president has advocated for consistently through the course of his career, that's something we know we need to take action on.
"Most people who want to fight crime would agree that's the right approach," she added.
The question comes as a group of Republican senators led by Sens. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Tim Scott, R-S.C., issued a statement Friday, expressing concern over a proposed executive order by the Biden administration on law enforcement.
The order would prohibit the transfer of nonlethal military tools, such as armored vehicles and flash-bang devices, to local police departments for riot dispersion. It would also impose more significant restrictions on federal grant dollars.
"Police officers will face a grim reality if this EO is enacted, and their lifesaving equipment is restricted from them," the statement read. "Violent crime will continue to skyrocket when police officers are unable to stop these crimes and save innocent lives. We cannot understand why any elected official would want to stop law enforcement from safely doing their jobs other than to be able to tell their base of voters they are defunding the police."
"The federal government should not be hamstringing them into conditions that Congress has not passed into law," the senators added.
Other signatories of the letter included Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., John Cornyn, R-Texas, Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Josh Hawley, R-Mo., and Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn.
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