What: All Issues : Justice for All: Civil and Criminal : Assisting Crime Impacted Communities : S Con Res 21. (Fiscal 2008 budget resolution), Biden of Delaware amendment on increasing funding for law enforcement/On agreeing to the amendment (2007 senate Roll Call 110)
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S Con Res 21. (Fiscal 2008 budget resolution), Biden of Delaware amendment on increasing funding for law enforcement/On agreeing to the amendment
senate Roll Call 110     Mar 23, 2007
Progressive Position:
Yea
Progressive Result:
Win

This vote occurred on an amendment by Joe Biden, D-Del., that would allow for a $1.15 billion funding increase for the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program in fiscal 2008. The COPS program, started under President Bill Clinton with the goal of putting 100,000 more cops on the streets, is currently being phased out under questions of mismanagement of funds. However, the program has its proponents -- including Biden, who pointed to statistics showing that when the COPS program was functioning in full force, violent crime nationwide dropped 8.5 percent annually for 7 years running.

The amendment was offered to the budget resolution that serves as the blueprint for Congress' budget priorities in fiscal 2008. The budget resolution sets overall spending targets for the Appropriations committees and outlines other budget rules.

"Now crime is rising again. In every one of our states it is up. Violent crime is up across the board," Biden said. "The COPS program in the crime bill worked, and the Government Accounting Office found a statistical link between the COPS grants and a reduction in crime. Local officials urgently need this support."

Judd Gregg, R-N.H., said the program has long since met and even exceeded its goal, having helped raise an additional 110,000 police officers, and that it is time to put it to rest.

"This program should have ended 5 years ago or 6 years ago, but it continues. It is similar to so many federal programs that get constituencies that go on well past what their original purpose was. It may be well intentioned, but we cannot afford it and we shouldn't continue it. It was never thought it would be continued this long," Gregg said.

The amendment was adopted by a vote of 65-33. All but one Democrat voted no: Jim Webb of Virginia. Republicans largely opposed it, though 16 voted yes. Thus, the budget resolution went forward with language allowing for a $1.15 billion increase in funding for the COPS program.

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