Senate Democrats have proposed $3.95 billion for law enforcement in their version of the economic stimulus bill. The sum for unspecified “law enforcement efforts” was the last item mentioned in a long press release on the bill’s provisions issued last Friday. The proposed allocation nearly matches a $4 billion proposal for hiring police officers and anticrime grants to states and localities in the House Democrats version of the bill. President Barack Obama has not stated a position on the law enforcement provisions, but he favors a wide-ranging stimulus bill.
Advocates are encouraged by the Senate and House bills, because a little more than a year ago, Congress slashed anticrime spending, under pressure from President Bush to trim annual federal appropriations. On the other hand, congressional Republicans oppose the high spending levels sought–the Senate package totals $825 billion. To get anywhere near $4 billion, anticrime advocates may have to prove that their money could be spent quickly and effectively.