The White House is taking aim at a spending bill written by House Republicans, charging that it shortchanges law enforcement programs as more funding is needed for efforts to improve relations between police departments and the communities they oversee, reports the Washington Post. The House Appropriations Committee is expected to approve a bill today that would provide less than requested for law enforcement initiatives put forward by President Obama, including his proposal to fund nearly 50,000 police body cameras. White House budget director Shaun Donovan outlined a series of cuts he said would undermine community policing programs in a letter to House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY).
The House bill would provide less than requested for policy body-worn camera pilot programs and grants for local police departments. It also would provide $503 million less than the President requested for criminal justice assistance programs and would eliminate the Community Oriented Policing Services, or COPS, office, which focuses on improving the relations between police departments and their communities. Rep. John Culberson (R-TX), chairman of the subcommittee that made the proposal, said he was forced to cut funding to comply with spending caps put in place in the 2011 Budget Control Act, also known as the sequester.