Washington.— The House approved legislation on Thursday to increase funding for local police departments, after Democrats overcame deep divisions in their ranks on a package that aims to curb Republican efforts to portray them as lax on crime before of the midterm elections.
A broad bipartisan majority voted 360-64 for the centerpiece of a four-pronged package of laws, called the Investment for Protection Act, which could provide $60 million a year for five years to police departments. local.
The funds could be used to purchase body cameras, training and other activities.
However, criticism from progressives, who opposed sending money to police departments without stronger accountability measures to fix excessive use of force and other misconduct problems, nearly derailed the proposals before they could be considered.
The fate of the legislation is unknown, particularly given the bumpy road it took to pass the House Thursday.
Last month, the Senate approved a different version of the Protection Investment Act, aides said House leaders had yet to discuss how it could reach President Biden’s desk.
Democrats, who are in a tough race for re-election in conservative districts, have been calling for action on the measures for months, in part because of the central line of attack Republicans have used against them. during the mid-term campaigns: that his party is very soft on crime and refused to stop funding the police.
“Across the country, this is going to send a very clear message that Democrats support law enforcement,” said Democratic Rep. Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey, who introduced the Investment for Protection Act.
Although the path to approval revealed fissures among Democrats on the police issue at a time when the political map is looking more favorable for them than it did a few months ago.