Spending on law enforcement expected to rise under Trump
Thursday, April 13, 2017
The 2016 presidential campaign was filled with rhetoric about rising crime rates and the need for improved resources for our law enforcement agencies. The need is truly there, and the rhetoric has long been a part of many political agendas. However, recent events suggest that spending on law enforcement could very well rise this year.
A recent Washington Post report states that Republican interest in spending on law enforcement has seen a 34 percent increase in the last two years. And the 2014 General Social Survey showed that 46 percent of respondents thought that the administration spent too little on law enforcement, and this figure spiked to 50 percent in 2016.
The latter could very well be the general anti-police feeling that eventually led to a slew of tragic officer deaths. Sympathy and affinity for the police force, which had been waning in recent years, is seeing a positive shift. This could also be the reason for more respondents to agree that the men in blue need more resources.
However, experts have also pointed out that we shouldn't forget that President Donald Trump intends to add new national law enforcement in the form of Border Patrol agents, which could lead to the rise of funding as well.
Trump stated in February that his budget proposal would focus on boosting spending not only for the military but also on local law enforcement. At the same time, there would be policies in place that would enable "greater savings and efficiencies" in the federal government. The idea is to have a lean and accountable federal government.
Reports reveal that out of the proposed $1.15 trillion budget, he has asked for a $54 billion increase in defense funding to enable recruitment and start replenishing the depleted military units. While the figure for law enforcement has yet to be highlighted, Trump did mention that the funds will be directed to fighting violent crime, recruit additional border patrol and immigration enforcement agents, and build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico.
The latest General Social Survey shows that Republicans (about 67 percent) want more spending on law enforcement. The administrative agenda aims to ensure that our officers and troops have the tools necessary to do their jobs well and secure our borders.
Widely called the America First budget, it has made many happy and many nervous at the same time. While it seeks a major increase in law enforcement and military spending to strengthen national security, it aims to do so by ruthlessly slashing funds from the State Department, the EPA's climate change programs and multiple social safety net programs. Federal departments like the FBI would be spared as they fall under law enforcement category.
Despite promises to increase the budget for local police departments, there are plans to eliminate the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program, which has raised concerns across the country. The program reimburses local law enforcement agencies and governments for costs incurred in jailing undocumented immigrants who have been convicted of a crime.
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