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President Biden speaks during the 40th annual National Peace Officers Memorial Service at the U.S Capitol on Oct. 16. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden speaking at the U.S. Capitol on Saturday honored members of law enforcement who died in the line of duty in 2019 and 2020 and saluted those who are currently serving.

Driving the news: "We expect everything of you, and it's beyond the capacity of anyone to meet the total expectations. Being a cop today is one hell of a lot harder than it's ever been," Biden said.

  • Biden also saluted the officers who defended the Capitol during the Jan. 6 riot.
  • "Here nine months ago, your brothers and sisters thwarted an unconstitutional and fundamentally un-American attack on our nation's values and our votes. Because of you, democracy survived. But only because of you."

The big picture: Biden's remarks come after an attempt to pass a police reform bill, prompted by the death of George Floyd in May 2020, failed in Congress.

  • The president maintained Saturday that he seeks to amend aspects of the law enforcement system.
  • "To support our law enforcement officers requires that we invest in systems that provide adequate health care, counseling, drug prevention, housing, education and other social services in the community, so there is not the discord."
  • 2020 was the deadliest year for law enforcement on record, Biden said.

What he's saying: "To the families of the fallen, who suffered enormous loss, understand your loss is also America's loss, America's loss, and your pain is America's pain," Biden said.

  • "We're waking up to the notion that unless we change the environment in which the job can be done, we're gonna have trouble having enough women and men come forward who want to do the job."
  • "Let us prevent the preventable tragedies. ... I believe with all my heart there's nothing you're unable to do if we equip you. We can unite this nation and fight our common foes, anger, resentment, hatred, extremism, racism, lawlessness, violence, joblessness, hopelessness."

Go deeper

Updated Nov 4, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Payments to families separated at border still being negotiated, White House clarifies

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The White House clarified Thursday that negotiations are ongoing for payments to families who were separated at the border under the Trump administration.

The latest: The Wall Street Journal first reported that the Justice Department was in talks to pay $450,000 per person to settle lawsuits filed on behalf of the families affected. When asked about the payments this week, President Biden had said, "That's not going to happen." Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Thursday his response was to the $450,000 figure and not the payments themselves.

Biden's blunt talk

President Biden speaks during his news conference Tuesday in Glasgow, Scotland. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

This White House's buttoned-up communications operation still has one big leak: President Biden.

Driving the news: On Tuesday, on the world stage in Glasgow, Scotland, he bluntly chastised Russia and China for skipping the COP26 climate change conference. It wasn't an isolated instance.

Progressives to file resolution to strip Boebert's committee seats

Rep. Lauren Boebert walking through the Senate side of the U.S. Capitol earlier this month. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

House progressives are planning to introduce a resolution on Wednesday to strip Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) of her committee assignments, according to a Democratic aide familiar with the matter.

Why it matters: The move, which was first reported by the Washington Post, comes as progressives — anxious to see the right-wing firebrand face retribution for her recent comments — have grown frustrated by Democratic leadership's inaction on the issue.