FIRST ON FOX: Law enforcement organizations are expressing concern and skepticism of Biden's reported plan to resort to the use of executive orders on police reform, saying it is "not a sustainable" means of achieving long-term change, and a political attempt to distract from the administration's week of defeats.
The executive actions are still being finalized, according to NBC News, but are expected to be rolled out at the start of Black History Month in February as the administration tries to achieve policy goals leading up to the president’s State of the Union address in March.
The House of Representatives successfully passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act along party lines in March 2021, following Floyd’s murder by a police officer in Minneapolis. However, months of negotiations among a bipartisan group of senators failed to produce a police reform bill, so the White House is expected to turn to executive powers of the president to accomplish sweeping police reform.
Laura Cooper, executive director of the Major Cities Chiefs Association (MCCA), told Fox News Digital that executive orders "in lieu" of congressional legislation is not sustainable over time.
"Executive orders in lieu of congressional action is not a sustainable means of achieving and instituting change. Being pro reform and being supportive of law enforcement are not mutually exclusive and the MCCA hopes that any executive action taken will reflect a balance between improving law enforcement transparency and best practices while being supportive of the men and women who protect and serve our cities," said Cooper.
Biden is also receiving heat for turning to police reform after week of major losses on the filibuster, the OSHA vaccine mandate, and more to start 2022.
On Thursday, the Supreme Court blocked Biden’s push to force employers across the country with over 100 employees to vaccinate their workers and voting rights reform stalled in the Senate after a push to suspend the filibuster was blocked by Democrats.
Sgt. Betsy Brantner Smith, spokesperson for the National Police Association, told Fox News Digital that Biden is switching gears to police reform in order to deflect from one of the worst weeks in his presidency.
"After the worst week politically in his presidential career, it appears that Joe Biden plans to pivot to ‘police reform’ to prop up his faltering reputation and revive his popularity with ‘anti-police’ activists," said Smith, calling it "ill-timed" as killings of police officers skyrocket as well as violent crime.
"The priority of the White House should be to protect ALL communities, instead of pandering to a militant wing of idealists and activists who believe that police officers are the problem, not the solution, to violent crime. The National Police Association encourages the President and his staff to make decisions utilizing the facts about crime in American, as well as about police use of force, and stop engaging in false rhetoric designed to vilify our profession."
Smith also said that the law enforcement community needs leadership, not "partisan pandering."
"Right now, we need President Biden’s leadership, not his partisan pandering, if we are going to save the lives of both American law enforcement officers and the communities we are trying to protect," said Smith.
National Sheriffs' Association (NSA) Executive Director and CEO Jonathan Thompson told Fox News Digital that he has not seen any drafts of an executive order on police reform and hopes Biden will open dialogue with the nation's sheriffs before signing any order.
"We have not yet seen any drafts of the Executive Order nor have been asked for feedback. We are, however, hopeful that the Administration will take into account its dialogue with Sheriffs and the law enforcement perspective on moving forward with reform," Thompson said.
"When it comes to ‘reform’ we need to think about improving training, enhancing enforcement with compassion and sentencing with purpose. Crime is rising. Recruiting and staffing are at historic lows yet the country overwhelmingly supports law enforcement and the adherence to the rule of law."
Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund President Jason Johnson also weighed in, telling Fox News Digital that Biden is "under the influence of progressives."
"We would welcome an Executive Order from the Joe Biden of the 1980’s or 90’s. Unfortunately the Joe Biden of 2022 is one deeply under the influence of progressives who are blind to the devastating impact of the war on police. The good news is presidential authority to impose these kinds of dangerous, so-called reforms by executive fiat are very limited, so this is more political posturing than policymaking," said Johnson.
The president’s approval rating stands at just 33% and disapproval at 53% among Americans in a Quinnipiac University national poll conducted Jan. 7-10 and released Wednesday. Biden’s approval is down three points from Quinnipiac’s previous survey, which was conducted in November, with disapproval remaining unchanged.
According to the Quinnipiac poll, the president is deeply underwater on his handling of three top issues – the economy (34%), foreign policy (35%), and the coronavirus pandemic (39%).
Fox News' Andrew Mark Miller contributed to this report.