WASHINGTON, D.C. (NEXSTAR) – “Defund the police” — It’s become a rallying cry from protesters demanding changes in policing but what does it really mean?

As calls to defund the police grow louder, Democrat lawmakers say the message is often misinterpreted. 

“The messaging is that we need to invest more in things like housing, and workforce development and education,” Representative Nanette Barragan, D-California, said. 

Representative Nanette Barragan says some cities overspend on policing at the expense of other important community investments. 

She says some of that spending should be reconsidered.  

“We need to also continue to work to invest in our communities, to create opportunities, and making sure there is equal access,” Barragan said. 

Senator Kamala Harris says more community investment is a more efficient way to make neighborhoods safer.  

“We have confused safety in our communities with hiring more cops on the street,” Senator Kamala Harris, D-California, said. 

“The legislation speaks for itself,” Representative Hakeem Jeffries, D-New York, said. 

Congressman Hakeem Jeffries emphasized the Democrats’ police reform package says nothing about defunding or abolishing police but he says he expects the White House to tie Democrats to those movements.

“It’s a proposition the President will endeavor to weaponize because he is desperate at this moment,” Jeffries said. 

“This is extraordinary. This is rolling back the protective layers that Americans in their homes, and their places of business,” Kayleigh McEnany said. 

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany says defunding the police does take essential resources away from law enforcement. 

“That means cutting of police. That means reducing of police. That means defunding Police Departments, if not getting rid of them entirely,” McEnany said. 

McEnany says there’s no interpretation of defunding the police which the president supports.