Vice President Joe Biden, who will be endorsing the 2020 Democratic presidential candidate he deems most electable after Saturday’s South Carolina primary, made a public appearance in Delaware on Thursday to sign bipartisan legislation meant to support police, federal law enforcement and first responders and their families.
One of the bills, the Police Officers, First Responders and Victims of Crime Act, had originally been crafted during the aftermath of the attack at a bar in California by a former Marine who had raged about his mental illness and served in the Marines from 2009 to 2012. The American flag displayed on his rifle’s barrel was decorated with a V-for-victim sticker, which sparked criticism by President Donald Trump, who said his country would show even more respect to police if flag decals and badges were removed.
On Thursday, Mr. Biden praised the bill’s authors, Senator John Cornyn of Texas and Congressman Jerrold Nadler of New York, as “two true servants.” He also pointed to instances of violence against law enforcement officers as a result of the mental illness of the shooter and the fact that too many officers are never given appropriate mental health treatment.
“How many good officers have had to find themselves with a weapon pointed at them, and the person was psychotic, paranoid and dangerous and maybe they shot it into a crowd,” Mr. Biden said, adding, “In the meantime, they continue their job, and the officers’ families are left to try to figure out how they’re going to make it through a day. I’m tired of it.”
While law enforcement officers play an important role in making our communities safer, sometimes they need added support, both in service of a steady paycheck and in support of their families. That’s why Democrats and Republicans have worked together to pass legislation for Federal and State Law Enforcement Officers that will bring needed support to our men and women in blue and save lives. pic.twitter.com/K70BWRrmwM — Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) February 28, 2019
The other measure, to strengthen the Affordable Care Act, refers to the Charlize Ridenhour Act, which incorporates the police officers and first responders provisions into an attempt to help families who, faced with costly hospital bills from a loved one’s death, opt out of the required insurance coverage in lieu of paying out-of-pocket.