President Joe Biden pushes efforts to combat rising crime levels. The President of the United States plans to lay out new steps to stem a rising national tide of violent crime, with a particular focus on gun violence, as administration officials brace for what they fear could be an especially turbulent summer.
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The worry over crime is real: It has created economic hardship, displacement and anxiety. But there are also tricky politics at play. The spike in crime has become a Republican talking point and has been a frequent topic of conversation on conservative media.
White House aides believe that Biden, with his long legislative record on crime as a former senator, is not easy to paint as soft on the issue, and the president has been clear that he is opposed to the “defund the police” movement, which has been effectively used against other Democrats to paint them as anti-law enforcement. But Biden also is trying to boost progressives’ efforts to reform policing. And while combating crime and reforming the police don’t have to be at odds with each other, the two efforts are increasingly billed that way.