WASHINGTON — Republicans across the country have doubled down on false claims that Democrats want to defund the police, but the truth is closer to the opposite. According to reporting in the Dallas Morning News, Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s budget cuts include public safety grants that will force cities in Texas to make cuts to their spending on public safety. Pandemic-related austerity measures and the refusal of GOP leaders to support aid for state and local governments means that, in many cases, Republicans are going to force cities to do the very thing they claim to oppose
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said, “The governor is threatening to freeze city and county revenues while simultaneously demanding 5% cuts at the state level. How is that not defunding police?”
Governor Abbot’s detractors are bipartisan. Republican Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley also expressed frustration with his rhetoric, arguing “he’s spending a lot of time and effort talking about things he can’t accomplish and telling local elected officials how to represent their folks. He could be giving money to those local governments to help small businesses hurt by the shutdown.”
President Trump has consistently supported cuts to policing budgets since taking office, and Republicans remain united in their opposition to more aid for states and cities as part of further coronavirus relief measures. GOP-imposed austerity will force states and cities to make difficult budgeting decisions and jeopardize public safety.