President Joe Biden announced Wednesday a new strategy to combat crime. Republicans blame the rise in violence on calls for police funding to be cut by progressive activists.

Biden declared a “zero tolerance policy” in a speech at the White HouseRogue gun dealersThe Justice Department has shifted its focus to try and stop illegal firearms sales.

Biden stressed that cities and states could use the $350 billion they received in direct aid through Biden’s COVID-19 rescue program, which was approved by Congress in March on public safety, including hiring more officers.

As he is unable to get Republican support in Congress to pass comprehensive gun control legislation, the president made his announcement. Republicans will seize on the crime rise and the “defunding the police” mantra by some liberals to attack Democrats to regain control of the House of Representatives and Senate in 2022’s midterm elections.

Biden stated in the White House State Room, “Folks this shouldn’t be an red or blue issue.” It’s an American issue. We are not changing the Constitution. We are enforcing the Constitution, being reasonable. We are taking on bad actors who do bad and dangerous things within our communities.”

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The number of homicides has increased by 24% compared to last year. Gun-related deaths have increased 21%. Experts in public safety fear that gun violence will increase this summer as it traditionally spikes with warm weather. After months of closures, the start of summer coincides in many states with loosening COVID-19 restrictions.

Biden acknowledged that crime has been increasing in the United States for a long time, but said it was more evident this summer. “I have been involved in this field for a while, and we know some things that work – that reduce violence and violent crime.”