Joe Biden goes on the defensive over crime bill, climate change record

Joe Biden was forced to rebut skeptical comments about his record during his first public 2020 campaign event in New Hampshire Monday, defending his 1994 crime bill and his posture on climate change.As a senator, the former vice president helped craft and advance the 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, which created mandatory life sentences for repeat offenders and increased prison funding by about $10 billion. Criminal justice reform advocates have condemned the law.

The Democratic presidential front-runner brought up the crime bill at an event at a pizzeria in response to a question from an attendee about what he would do to combat drug addiction, noting that President Trump had called New Hampshire a "drug-infested" state.

“Look folks, there is a lot that can be done,” Biden said. “There’s a whole lot of talk about, you know, Biden and the crime bill.”

The crime bill, Biden said, had “three big things in it. One, one-third of it, $10 billion was for prevention. Some of you aren’t old enough, I got made fun of, because they said, ‘Biden’s spending money not fighting crime, [but] on prevention.’”
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