The president of the United States, Joe Biden, has unveiled his initial proposal for the federal budget for fiscal year 2022 on Friday, more a declaration of political intentions than a monetary calculation of the cost of the planned government actions. Among the priorities are items to fight climate change, promote global public health and an increase of more than 40% in education. Also a significant investment of 860 million dollars in Central America, the first step in a four-year program to curb irregular immigration.
In total, this initial request for discretionary spending from the federal government aims to achieve $ 1.5 trillion for the next fiscal year, an increase of 8.4% over the one approved by Congress for the current fiscal year. Of the total request, 753,000 million will be dedicated to defense spending and another 769,000 million to other items, including the fight against the climate crisis, the reinforcement of global public health and medical research and the determined commitment to almost double the budget of Education.
The Government intends to invest 36,500 million dollars in schools in the most disadvantaged quintiles, as well as to finance medical research projects focused on diseases such as cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s.
The proposal, presented a day after the announcement of a tax reform to finance an ambitious infrastructure plan, reflects Biden’s conviction that expanding the role of the federal government, and not limiting it, is key to boosting economic growth by responding to some of the country’s most pressing problems, such as the threat of climate change and deep social inequality.
Biden has advanced part of the complete package that the White House will unveil in the coming weeks, and the advance, in addition to a trial of public opinion, also reveals the political priorities of his mandate, including strengthening aid to Central America when they have skyrocketed. the arrivals of undocumented immigrants to the southern border of the United States, with the highest level of arrests in 20 years, as well as a historical record in the influx of unaccompanied minors. The millions announced this Friday by Biden are “the first step” of a greater objective, investing 4,000 million dollars in the region in a period of four years, as promised during the electoral campaign, to “face the causes that originate” the phenomenon. .
Biden’s budget proposal, which will most likely be modified by Congress during its processing, also includes funds to reform the asylum system, which has been in deficit since Donald Trump’s term. The White House wants to allocate 890 million dollars to hire a hundred immigration judges and auxiliary teams, to accelerate the process of thousands of stuck applications.
The Secretary of the Treasury, Janet Yellen, pointed out that this request for funds “makes things fairer” and “injects” money “into communities where capital arrives with difficulty.” Biden’s initial plan assumes a 16% increase in non-defense related items, which if approved would equal 3.3% of GDP, according to the letter to Congress sent by the White House Budget Office.
Biden’s tentative proposal does not include tax measures or mandatory programs like Social Security, which will be included in a formal budget request that the White House will publish later.
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