Biden Plans to Reveal Budget Spending Priorities Next Week
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, D.C. (Photographer: Stefani Reynolds/CNP/Bloomberg)

Biden Plans to Reveal Budget Spending Priorities Next Week

President Joe Biden plans to unveil his initial 2022 spending requests next week to help shape congressional negotiations, and expects to release a full budget proposal in the coming months, the administration said Tuesday.

The document will include Biden’s discretionary funding priorities, broken down by agency with some additional details within them, the Office of Management and Budget said.

It’s the administration’s opening move in discussions over fiscal 2022 annual spending bills. Biden will have to win support from Republicans in the evenly divided Senate, where 60 votes are needed to spend the money.

Proposed spending increases are likely to get a frosty reception from GOP lawmakers, who unanimously voted against Biden’s $1.9 trillion rescue plan designed to stoke a recovery from the Covid-19 crisis. Republicans said that measure, which passed earlier this month, was too costly and filled with liberal priorities.

Biden will separately propose additional spending on infrastructure, clean energy and other domestic policy issues. Those measures could cost roughly $3 trillion people familiar with the talks said Monday, though cautioning no decisions have been made.

“Our priority is to provide Congress with early information about the president’s discretionary funding priorities, which is what they need to begin the appropriations process,” OMB spokesman Rob Friedlander said.

Biden’s initial request will not include plans for raising revenues, which is why, an agency official said, the Biden administration is shying away from calling the document a “skinny budget” or “budget blueprint” -- the terms typically used to describe a new president’s initial funding requests.

Biden’s full budget will be released “later this spring,” and will “show how his full agenda of investments and tax reforms fits together in a fiscally and economically responsible plan to address the overlapping crises we face,” Friedlander said.

The full budget proposal will include discretionary and mandatory spending requests, as well as tax plans and 10-year projections, the official said.

There is no bipartisan budget cap agreement in place for fiscal 2022. Unless both parties can agree on the top-line discretionary spending levels, it will not be possible to complete full-year funding bills for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1.

Friedlander pinned some blame for the limited nature of the initial spending proposals on difficulties the Biden transition team had in working with the Trump administration, citing “significant obstruction.” Trump officials have disputed that.

OMB was also operating without Senate-confirmed leaders, after Neera Tanden withdrew from consideration amid senators’ complaints about her partisan tweets. Biden hasn’t nominated a new director. Among those under consideration is Shalanda Young, who was confirmed by the Senate on Tuesday as OMB’s deputy director.

The scope of the Biden proposal will be closer to what President Donald Trump released in March 2017 than to what previous administrations produced early in their first years in office.

The Trump administration’s document included estimates for fiscal 2018 but did not address revenues or multi-year projections. Previous administrations dating back to Ronald Reagan had produced more detailed initial budget proposals, which included proposed spending, revenues and deficits or surpluses for multiple years.

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