What Biden's $1.5 trillion 'skinny budget' shows about how he wants the next year to go

  • Biden unveiled an early budget proposal on Friday that would ramp up spending on education and public housing.
  • Military spending would not change under Biden’s $1.5 trillion proposal, which Congress must approve.
  • The plan offers an early look at Biden’s priorities and how he would realign federal spending after Trump.
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The White House unveiled its initial budget proposal on Friday. It would not only ramp up spending on education, health, and climate initiatives, but offers an early glimpse into President Joe Biden’s domestic spending priorities.

It’s Biden’s budgetary pitch to Congress, which also has a say in drawing up and approving a spending plan. The Biden blueprint would allocate $69 billion in funds to expand public housing, along with major boosts to the Education Department and the Department of Health and Human Services.

It also does not call for an increase defense spending.

This is a sharp break from President Donald Trump’s conservative agenda. Trump’s budget plan last year sought to slash major domestic programs such as Medicaid and the size of federal agencies including the Environmental Protection Agency.

The so-called skinny budget arrives as the White House prepares to dive into congressional negotiations on its multitrillion-dollar infrastructure package, with Congress returning to session next week. Lawmakers must also strike a deal on the federal budget before funding expires at the end of September.

Biden’s $2.3 trillion infrastructure package would allocate major funding to roads and bridges, clean energy incentives, and in-home elder care, among other measures. A second proposal of a similar size is expected later this month.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Thursday that Democrats could opt to bypass Republicans to approve the package sometime in July. The GOP is strongly opposed to the scope of the plan as well as its corporate tax hikes.

“If we have to go to reconciliation, that’s a lever, but I hope it’s not something that we need to do,” Pelosi said.

This story will be updated.

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