Biden’s $1.5 Trillion Budget Includes 16% Increase For Domestic Programs
President Joe Biden‘s $1.5 trillion 2022 budget was unveiled by the White House this week. The proposal calls for a 16 percent increase (3.3 percent of GDP) in funding for domestic programs – meaning non-defense programs would be provided with $769 billion for the upcoming fiscal year, and $753 billion would be allocated for national defense programs.
Biden’s budget would only offer a slim 1.7 percent increase for military funding, a move that will likely be controversial in Congress, which is used to giving huge increases to the Pentagon. In addition, Department of Homeland Security’s budget would be cut to $52 billion, following years of budget hikes under Donald Trump‘s administration. $1.2 billion would be allocated for border security.
The budget also calls for a $8.7 billion budget for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, marking the largest budget hike the agency has seen in 20 years. Biden’s plan also includes a $20 billion increase in funding for low-income schools and a $14 billion budget for climate change investments.
In a letter to congressional spending leaders, Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young stated: “This moment of crisis is also a moment of possibility.” She added that the process of funding government programs is “another important opportunity to continue laying a stronger foundation for the future and reversing a legacy of chronic disinvestment in crucial priorities. Together, America has a chance not simply to go back to the way things were before the COVID-19 pandemic and economic downturn struck, but to begin building a better, stronger, more secure, more inclusive America.”
Many Democrats, such as Senate Appropriations Chair Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), House Appropriations Chair Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) and House Budget Chair John Yarmuth (D-Kentucky), have shown support for the proposed plan.
Senate Budget Chair Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) voiced his support for the Biden administration, saying that the plan includes “a much needed and substantial increase in funding for education, affordable housing, health care, environmental protection and the needs of our veterans.”
However, he also expressed “serious concerns” about funding the “bloated Pentagon.” “At a time when the U.S. already spends more on the military than the next 12 nations combined, it is time for us to take a serious look at the massive cost overruns, the waste and fraud that currently exists at the Pentagon,” Sanders said.
Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Alabama), on the other hand, said that the modest military budget increase “signals weakness to China and Russia, who are aggressively investing in their militaries. The proposal also takes a meat ax to border security funding. That signals to illegal immigrants that the floodgates will remain open on the Southern border, despite the growing crisis we already face.”