Biden's Move to Police Reform Criticised as Admin. Fails to Push Other Bills - Report

© AP Photo / Jeffrey McWhorterA police officer stands on the sidelines during the First Responder Bowl NCAA college football game between Air Force and Louisville Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2021, in Dallas.
A police officer stands on the sidelines during the First Responder Bowl NCAA college football game between Air Force and Louisville Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2021, in Dallas. - Sputnik International, 1920, 15.01.2022
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The White House earlier suffered some severe setbacks to its ambitious legislative agenda, as the Supreme Court blocked its push to force employers across the country with more than 100 employees to vaccinate their workers, and voting rights reform virtually died in the Senate after moderate Democrats blocked an effort to alter the filibuster.
Law enforcement groups are expressing concern and scepticism about Biden's reported plan to use executive orders to implement police reform, claiming that it is "not a sustainable" method of achieving long-term change and a political ploy to divert attention away from the administration's week of defeats, Fox News reported on Saturday.
The executive orders are still reportedly being completed, but they are scheduled to be implemented at the start of February as the administration works to achieve policy goals ahead of the president's State of the Union speech in March.
The development comes as the House passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act in March of last year, following the killing of Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis in 2020. But it was reported that months of talks among a bipartisan group of senators have not resulted in a police reform bill, so the White House is expected to utilise the president's executive powers to implement sweeping police reform.
U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks on how the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will rebuild America's bridges, in the South Court Auditorium at the White House in Washington, U.S., January 14, 2022. - Sputnik International, 1920, 15.01.2022
Biden Reportedly Mulling Executive Action on Police Reform
The executive director of the Major Cities Chiefs Association (MCCA), Laura Cooper, noted in a commentary to the outlet that executive orders "in lieu" of congressional legislation are not sustainable over time.

"Executive orders in lieu of congressional action is not a sustainable means of achieving and instituting change. Being pro-reform and being supportive of law enforcement are not mutually exclusive and the MCCA hopes that any executive action taken will reflect a balance between improving law enforcement transparency and best practices while being supportive of the men and women who protect and serve our cities", she said.

The Biden administration has been facing mounting criticism lately for shifting its focus to police reform following a week of huge setbacks on the filibuster, the OSHA vaccination mandate, and other issues.
National Police Association spokeswoman Sgt. Betsy Brantner Smith told Fox News that Biden is shifting gears to police reform to deflect attention away from one of his worst weeks as president.

"After the worst week politically in his presidential career, it appears that Joe Biden plans to pivot to 'police reform' to prop up his faltering reputation and revive his popularity with 'anti-police' activists", Smith alleged, adding that it is "ill-timed" given the number of police officers that have been killed and rising crime rates.

According to Smith, the White House's priority should be "to protect all communities", instead of "pandering to a militant wing of idealists and activists who believe that police officers are the problem, not the solution, to violent crime".

"The National Police Association encourages the president and his staff to make decisions utilising the facts about crime in America, as well as about police use of force, and stop engaging in false rhetoric designed to vilify our profession", the statement said.

The spokeswoman also reportedly stressed that law enforcement needs leadership rather than "partisan pandering".

"Right now, we need President Biden's leadership, not his partisan pandering, if we are going to save the lives of both American law enforcement officers and the communities we are trying to protect", she said.

Jonathan Thompson, executive director and CEO of the National Sheriffs' Association, who was also quoted by the outlet, said that he has not seen any drafts of an executive order on police reform and that he expected Biden would engage in communication with sheriffs across the country before issuing any order.

"We have not yet seen any drafts of the executive order nor have been asked for feedback. We are, however, hopeful that the administration will take into account its dialogue with sheriffs and the law enforcement perspective on moving forward with reform", he said. "When it comes to 'reform' we need to think about improving training, enhancing enforcement with compassion, and sentencing with purpose. Crime is rising".

He then underscored that at the moment, despite police recruitment and staffing being at record lows, "the country overwhelmingly supports law enforcement and the adherence to the rule of law".
According to a Quinnipiac University national poll conducted earlier this month, the president has a 33% popularity rating and a 53% disapproval rating among US citizens. Biden's approval has dropped three points since Quinnipiac's previous poll in November, while disapproval has remained steady.
Moreover, the poll suggested that the president's handling of three major concerns, namely the economy (34%), foreign policy (35%), and the coronavirus epidemic (39%), has him in serious trouble in terms of popularity.
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