The White House on Friday unveiled a $6 trillion budget proposal for fiscal year 2022 which would push debt levels to the highest they’ve been since World War II, and Republicans on Capitol Hill are calling the proposal "dead on arrival" in Congress.
The proposal exceeds former President Trump’s record budget request of $4.8 trillion last year.
The fiscal 2022 budget request – the first of Biden's presidency – tallies up the administration's eight-year, $2.3 trillion American Jobs Plan and the $1.8 trillion American Families Plan and incorporates them into Biden's $1.5 trillion request for annual operating expenditures, which includes the Pentagon and other federal agencies.
Under the plan, the deficit would hit $1.8 trillion in 2022 and would routinely run above $1.3 trillion over the next decade, despite nearly $3 trillion in proposed tax increases. The gap between what the government spends and what it collects in revenue would grow to nearly $1.6 trillion by 2031.
Total debt held by the public would more than exceed the annual value of the entire economy by 117% in 2031, the highest level in close to a century.
And in a move that drew further Republican outrage, the proposal increased non-defense spending while holding defense spending essentially flat.
" It’s amazing how little all this taxing, printing, and borrowing would actually net American families," Sen. Minority Leader McConnel, R-Ky., said of the proposal in a statement. "The money would just disappear into a million mediocre socialist daydreams, from electric car subsidies to work-discouraging welfare programs to Washington-directed childcare plans that would put politicians’ thumbs on the scales of family decisions."
The six-term senator added, "President Biden’s proposal would drown American families in debt, deficits, and inflation," McConnell added. The White House has admitted the proposal could cause some short-term inflation, but they expect it to settle in the long run.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee said Biden’s offer was unserious.
"President Biden’s budget is dead on arrival," South Carolina's senior senator said in a statement. "There will be serious discussions about government funding. But the Biden budget isn’t serious and it won’t be a part of those discussions."
Senator Jim Risch, R-Idaho, ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, took issue with the budget’s funding for the United Nations (UN).
"Throwing good money at bad programs will not advance the national security, economic, or humanitarian interests of the American people," Risch said in a statement.
"By promising to overpay U.N. peacekeeping dues, the president is disincentivizing reform and ensuring that China can continue to shape international organizations to suit its ends. And by imposing unrealistic restrictions on the development of affordable and reliable energy in places like Africa, the president is pushing developing nations into deeper poverty and reliance on China for their energy needs," Risch continued.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen was pleased with the budget. "This budget puts our country on a long-term fiscally sustainable path through fair & efficient tax reform," she wrote on Twitter.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., chair of the Senate Budget Committee, also praised the proposal. He highlighted portions of the budget that call on Congress to expand Medicare and lower prescription drug costs.
"The budget that President Biden has submitted to Congress constitutes the most significant agenda for working families in the modern history of our country," he said in a statement.
Other provisions of the Biden budget include a substantial increase in investment in high-poverty schools, the most ever discretionary funding for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) - $8.7 billion, $500 million for homelessness assistance, $936 million for environmental justice initiatives. It would also give $6.5 billion to research and development for cancer and diseases like diabetes and Alzheimer’s and $861 million to Central American countries to address the root causes of migration, among other initiatives.
The president's proposal is just a roadmap for Congress, and it's up to lawmakers to work out a budget through appropriations bills in the coming weeks and months.