On Friday, May 28, President Biden is set to announce a $6 trillion budget for 2022. Advance copies of the budget, which has not been officially unveiled, suggest that there won’t be a lot of surprises in the massive financial document.
The budget is more or less a restatement of Biden’s previously announced spending priorities like those laid out in the massive American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan, the growth of mandatory social safety net programs, as well as some discretionary spending in places like the Department of Defense, Health and Human Services, and the Education Department.
But what does this budget really mean? What does it include? What doesn’t it include? And why does it matter for families?
Here’s everything you need to know.
What the Biden budget request really means
The budget largely only includes items that Biden has already proposed like paid family and medical leave, child care, and infrastructure items like roads and water pipe improvement. The main difference is that a budget proposal is a formal request to Congress, not simply a statement of priorities with dollar amounts attached akin to what Biden released a few weeks ago.
So Biden is asking Congress to approve a budget that will fund massive investments in the social safety net and the other spending packages he wants to pass for the 2022 fiscal year. And while there’s no guarantee, he actually has a decent shot at getting most of it passed given his party’s control, albeit by small margins, of the Senate and the House.
What the budget includes…
Though it hasn’t been released to the public, there’s a good idea of what Biden’s 2022 budget includes thanks to The New York Times.
- Money for infrastructure: roads, pipes, broadband, EV charging stations, and manufacturing
- Funding for affordable childcare, universal pre-k, and a federal paid family and medical leave program
- Military spending
- Investment in the Education Department
- Investment in Health and Human Services
- Mandatory spending items: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and other social safety net programs that automatically grow and aren’t subject to annual federal budget negotiations
These provisions would largely be financed by deficit spending, raising taxes on the wealthy, and increasing the corporate tax rate.
…And what it doesn’t
Biden’s 2022 budget wouldn’t fund several of his campaign promises and seems particularly focused on stuff he’s already tried to push through Congress with his massive spending packages. That means that many key campaign promises aren’t in the document.
- Money to overhaul the unemployment insurance system
- Funding for a public health care option (though the document will apparently call on Congress to make this happen)
- Student debt forgiveness
- Prescription drug price overhaul
Why does the budget proposal matter to families?
The official budget requests for funding to get affordable child care, universal pre-kindergarten, and federal paid family and medical leave, three major campaign promises President Biden made while running for the highest office, are of huge importance to working families in America.
Currently, child care can cost as much as tuition to a four-year public college, and the United States stands alone as one of the few wealthy countries in the world that doesn’t offer paid leave to its workers.
This story is developing. Check back here for updates.