Joe Biden

FACT SHEET: The President's Budget Tackles Crime, Keeps Americans Safe at Home

March 11, 2024

From the day he was sworn in, President Biden has taken bold action to reduce crime and make America's communities safer. He has worked to fund effective, accountable policing; invest in intervention and prevention strategies; and keep especially dangerous guns off our streets and out of dangerous hands. From combatting hate in America's communities to tackling gun violence, the Biden-Harris Administration has worked tirelessly to keep Americans safe. The President's American Rescue Plan—which every Republican in Congress opposed—helped states and over one thousand cities, towns, and counties across the country invest over $15 billion in public safety and violence prevention. Communities have invested those funds to support additional police officers, expand community violence intervention, add crisis responders, and more. The President signed and is continuing to implement a historic Executive Order to advance police reform. The President took on the gun lobby and signed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act into law, the first significant gun violence legislation in nearly 30 years, which includes enhanced background checks for buyers under 21 who pose a danger to themselves and others, expanded mental health programs, and support for implementation of red flag laws that keep guns away from dangerous people. The President also created the first-ever White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention in American history, overseen by the Vice President, and has announced nearly 40 executive actions to keep guns out of dangerous hands. Working with Congress, the Administration secured the greatest increase in funding in the Nation's history for the physical security of non-profits—including churches, gurdwaras, mosques, synagogues, temples, and other places of worship. The Administration has also delivered the most funding ever for the bipartisan Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) to combat gender-based violence, in addition to issuing our nation's first-ever National Plan to End Gender-Based Violence.

The President and Vice President continue to take other action to combat hate which undermines democracy, including by releasing the first-ever National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism, announcing the development of a National Strategy to Counter Islamophobia and Related Forms of Bias and Discrimination, signing legislation to enhance State and local law enforcement's ability to respond to hate crimes, and signing legislation to make lynching a federal crime. The President and Vice President have continued to speak out against discrimination, racism, sexism, anti-LGBTQI+ hate, and more—so that all Americans can live freely and without fear of attack or harassment.

The President and Vice President continue to call on Republicans in Congress to listen to the majority of Americans—and the majority of gunowners—who want to see more commonsense gun safety measures, such as universal background checks, a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, an end to the gun industry's immunity from liability, and the passing of a national red flag law, and to support additional lifesaving law enforcement actions, rather than standing in the way. In order to keep Americans safe, the President's Budget:

Tackles Crime, Protects Victims

Pursues New Mandatory Investments to Combat Violent Crime and Support Victims. The Budget builds upon the Safer America Plan by investing an additional $1.2 billion over five years to launch a new Violent Crime Reduction and Prevention Fund to give federal, state, local, Tribal, and territorial law enforcement the dedicated, seasoned support they need to focus on violent crime. This includes hiring new Federal law enforcement agents, prosecutors, and forensic specialists to address violent crime; expand Federal operations to combat fentanyl and apprehend dangerous fugitives; and support the hiring of 4,700 detectives at the State and local level to drive down the high rate of unsolved homicides, non-fatal shootings, and other violent crimes and the lengthy delays that undermine public trust and public safety. The Budget also includes $1.9 billion for the U.S. Marshals Service to support efforts to reduce violent crime, including through fugitive apprehension and enforcement operations, as well as $7.3 billion to replenish the Crime Victims Fund and ensure a stable and predictable source of funding is available to support critical victim service and compensation programs over the next decade.

Supports Effective and Accountable State, Local, and Tribal Law Enforcement and Public Safety. The Budget supports the President's Safer America Plan which aims to protect U.S. communities and promote public safety with evidence-informed strategies that promote effective and accountable crime prevention. Specifically, the Budget provides $3.7 billion in discretionary resources at the Department of Justice (DOJ) for State and local grants to enhance public safety, as well as $31.8 billion in mandatory resources to support programs associated with the President's Safer America Plan. This includes $1.5 billion in mandatory funding to support Community Violence Intervention (CVI) programs at DOJ over the next 10 years and $10.9 billion in support of the President's goal to recruit, train, support, and hire 100,000 additional police officers for effective, accountable community policing consistent with the standards of the President's Executive Order on Advancing Effective, Accountable Policing and Criminal Justice Practices to Enhance Public Trust and Public Safety. The Budget, through the Safer America Plan, further supports the evidence-informed training and technical assistance of law enforcement on topics including crime control and deterrence tactics, community engagement, use of force, interacting with people with disabilities, and responding to persons in mental health crisis and to domestic violence calls, while providing funds to support the purchase and operation of body-worn cameras, modernize police academies and training, comprehensively reform public safety systems, and combat crime to keep the Nation's streets safe. Through FEMA, the Budget invests $385 million for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program, an increase of $80 million above the 2023 enacted level, to support the physical security of community institutions and non-profits—including churches, gurdwaras, mosques, synagogues, temples, and other places of worship, as well as minority-serving institutions and Historically Black Colleges and Universities. At the Department of the Interior, the Budget invests $703 million in Tribal Public Safety and Justice programs and related construction, supporting critical law enforcement needs in Indian Country and the vital work of Tribal courts.

Prioritizes Efforts to End Gender-Based Violence. The Administration has prioritized funding for programs under VAWA, which was reauthorized and strengthened in 2022. Since 2021, DOJ's funding for VAWA programs has increased by over 36 percent, and the President's Budget proposes further expanding this funding to $800 million. This increase includes key investments in sexual assault services, transitional housing, and legal assistance for survivors. Moreover, the Budget strongly supports underserved and Tribal communities by providing $15 million for culturally-speci?c services, $5 million for underserved populations, $25 million to assist enforcement of Tribal special domestic violence jurisdiction, $3 million to support Tribal Special Assistant U.S. Attorneys, and $10 million for a new special initiative to address Missing and Murdered Indigenous People (MMIP). The Budget also provides $10 million in innovative funding to address technology-facilitated abuse through VAWA programs that address cybercrimes against individuals, including the non-consensual distribution of intimate images. In addition, the Budget provides $55 million to the Of?ce of Justice Programs for the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative to address the rape kit backlog.

Addresses the Gun Violence Epidemic

Invests in Federal Law Enforcement to Combat Gun Violence. The Budget makes significant investments to bolster Federal law enforcement capacity to strengthen public safety. The Budget includes $17.7 billion for DOJ law enforcement, including $2.0 billion, an increase of over 30 percent since 2021, for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) to implement the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. This increase reflects the President's commitment to reducing gun violence by arresting and prosecuting illegal firearm traffickers and preventing guns from falling into dangerous hands. These investments support the full implementation of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act in closing legal loopholes that allowed illegal firearms traffickers to evade justice. The Budget also includes an additional $51 million for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to support the continued implementation of enhanced background checks, a key provision of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act.

Helps Communities Respond to and Recover from Gun Violence. Gun violence is a significant public health problem in the United States and is the leading cause of death for children and teens. The effects of gun violence extend beyond victims and their families. Gun violence can overwhelm communities and leads to short- and long-term needs. The Budget invests a total of $2.5 billion in discretionary and mandatory funds over 10 years in the Center for Disease Control (CDC) to support an evidence-informed community violence initiative, and an additional $2.5 billion in discretionary and mandatory funds over 10 years for DOJ grants to support state and local community violence intervention programs to support the President's commitment to provide $5 billion over 10 years for CVI programs. The initiative would address the causes of violence in communities and help reduce the health inequities that characterize such violence across the United States. The Budget also includes $60 million for gun violence research across CDC and National Institute of Health (NIH).

Makes Communities Safer

Combats Narcotics Trafficking Networks. The Budget provides $3.3 billion to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to combat drug trafficking, including $1.2 billion to combat opioid trafficking, save lives, and make our communities safer. The Budget invests an additional $18 million in Domestic Counter-Fentanyl Threat Targeting Teams at the DEA to enhance America's fight against the transnational criminal networks pushing deadly illicit fentanyl in America's communities. These interdisciplinary teams of special agents, intelligence analysts, and data experts will map criminal organizations and build cases that lead to the dismantlement of entire drug trafficking networks and the deprivation of hundreds of millions of dollars to the Sinaloa and Jalisco cartels. In addition, the Budget provides $494 million in grants supporting efforts to address substance use, including $190 million for the Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Use Program, $95 million to support Drug Courts, and $51 million for anti-drug task forces.

Disrupts the International Synthetic Drug Trade.The Budget includes $169 million to State for countering fentanyl and other synthetic drug production and trafficking. These resources would counter the worldwide flow of fentanyl and other synthetics that endanger public safety and health, and contribute to tens of thousands of drug-overdose deaths in the United States annually. The Budget also reiterates the Administration's October 2023 request for $1.2 billion at DHS and DOJ to counter fentanyl trafficking and prevent the movement of dangerous drugs into the United States.

Counters Cyber Threats. In line with the National Cybersecurity Strategy that emphasizes a whole-of-Nation approach to addressing ongoing cyber threats, the Budget makes critical investments across the Federal government to protect and defend sensitive agency systems and information, including those designated as high-value assets, and to safeguard the American public's sensitive data housed within these systems against future attacks. This includes investments to expand DHS and DOJ's ability to pursue threats through investments in FBI's cyber and counterintelligence investigative capabilities, and in CISA's internal cybersecurity and analytical capabilities. Cyber attacks on the healthcare system disrupt patient care and put patient safety at risk, and the healthcare system continues to be a target for cyber criminals. Through proposed changes to Medicare, funding is available to bolster HHS's cybersecurity efforts, including $800 million to help high-need, low-resourced hospitals cover the upfront costs associated with implementing essential cybersecurity practices, and $500 million for an incentive program to encourage all hospitals to invest in advanced cybersecurity practices. The Budget also provides $141 million to continue strengthening HHS's ability to protect and defend HHS systems and information while supporting the Healthcare and Public Health Sector.

Improves the Fairness and Effectiveness of the Criminal Justice System

Promotes Equity Across the Justice System. The Budget invests over $10 million in the Office of the Access to Justice to support its work to increase the availability of legal assistance and eliminate barriers to legal access based on economic, demographic, and geographic factors. In addition, the Budget renews its investment in the Office of Environmental Justice to protect overburdened and disadvantaged communities from the harms caused by environmental crimes, pollution, and climate change. The Budget further invests in State and local efforts to promote equity and protect civil rights, including $10 million for a new initiative to modernize outdated criminal statutes with a discriminatory impact on HIV-positive individuals, $50 million in VAWA programs specifically focused on delivering equitable services, and $50 million for programs to combat hate crimes.

Combats Hate Crimes and Reinvigorates Federal Civil Rights Enforcement. In order to address longstanding inequities and strengthen civil rights protections, the Budget invests $201 million in the DOJ Civil Rights Division. These resources would support police reform via pattern-or-practice investigations, prosecuting hate crimes, enforcing voting rights, and ensuring access to justice. In addition, the Budget provides a total of $2.8 billion for the U.S. Attorneys, which includes funding for 50 new attorneys to prosecute violent crimes. The Budget also requests $15 million for the Khalid Jabara-Heather Heyer NO HATE Acts, to provide grants for states and local governments to improve data collection and hate crime prevention methods.

Joseph R. Biden, FACT SHEET: The President's Budget Tackles Crime, Keeps Americans Safe at Home Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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