Vice President Joe Biden told the International Association of Chiefs of Police Monday that if Republicans seize control of Congress, federal funding to local law enforcement would likely shrink, the Orlando Sentinel reports. Biden said GOP leaders want to scale back federal involvement in local affairs, leaving law enforcement funding to cities and counties.
He described a “deep, philosophical divide” between the two major parties, saying Democrats see a need to help local police deal with law enforcement issues. Republicans, Biden said, argue that’s not a federal responsibility. “We’ll be your back-up,” said Biden, whose visit came just eight days before the mid-term elections. “But once again, I’m going to come and ask you for back-up in these fights.” Biden cited the COPS program, rolled out in 1994. The law provided grants to hire more police, and Democrats say between 1995 and 2005 it added about 117,000 officers to police departments around the U.S.