President Biden released a $1.5 trillion wish list for the federal budget on Friday, one that seeks substantial increases for Democratic priorities like education, health care, housing, and environmental protection, per the AP. The request by the White House budget office spells out Biden’s top priorities as Congress weighs its spending plans for next year. Highlights:
- The Biden request provides a relatively small 1.6% increase to the $700 billion-plus Pentagon budget. Homeland security accounts would basically be frozen, reflecting opposition among Democratic progressives to immigration security forces.
- Biden wants to increase the Education Department’s budget by a massive 40.8% to $102.8 billion, which includes an additional $20 billion in grants for high-poverty schools.
- The Department of Health Human Services would get a 23.1% boost to $133.7 billion. There would be additional funds to combat opioid addiction and for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, whose mission took on new urgency in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic.
- The administration is also asking for $6.5 billion to establish a biomedical research agency to address cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer's, and other diseases.
- Biden is seeking a $14 billion increase across government agencies to address climate change.
- Housing and Urban Development would get a 15.1% increase to $68.7 billion, primarily to provide housing vouchers for an additional 200,000 families.
- The administration also seeks more money for civil rights enforcement addressing gun violence as a public health epidemic.
- The plan also details how the Biden administration will try to deal with the influx of arrivals at the southern border. It includes $861 million to invest in Central America to address the forces driving people to migrate to the United States. An additional $345 million would go to immigration services to resolve delays in years-long naturalization and asylum cases. The budget for the Executive Office of Immigration Review would jump 21% to $891 million in order to hire 100 new immigration judges and support teams to reduce the existing backlogs.
(Read more President Biden