The blueprint allows leaders in Congress to start negotiating government funding levels and a raft of spending bills to keep federal agencies funded past September.
Biden’s request also gives Democrats the go-ahead to once again begin the special budget process that allowed them to pass the $1.9 trillion pandemic aid plan in March without Republican votes in the Senate. Should the president decide to end bipartisan talks on an infrastructure package, that process could provide Democrats a path to enacting a plan on their own.
For now, Senate Democrats and the White House are still negotiating with Republicans on an infrastructure deal, with the goal of moving a bill in July — with or without GOP support.
Biden administration officials stressed on Friday that the president’s infrastructure and jobs plans would be paid for within 15 years through tax increases, rather than the traditional 10-year budget window. The president’s plans would also continue cutting the deficit after a decade, officials noted.
“Over the long run, when we face larger fiscal challenges and more uncertainty about interest rates, the budget will reduce the deficit and improve our nation’s finances,” Young said during a call with reporters. “That’s because its front-loaded investments are more than paid for through permanent tax reform that will ensure corporations and the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share.”
Under Biden’s plan, the nation’s debt would exceed the size of the economy for the entire decade, rising to 117 percent of GDP by 2031. The deficit as a share of the economy would shrink from 16.7 percent this year to 4.7 percent over the same period.
The president’s budget also predicts that the economy will grow at around 2 percent for a decade, with the unemployment rate falling from 5.5 percent this year to 4.1 percent next year, then leveling off at 3.8 percent for the rest of the decade.
White House Council of Economic Advisers Chair Cecilia Rouse noted that the current economic picture is very different from the administration’s forecast in February, when a national vaccine push was in its infancy and Biden’s infrastructure and jobs plans “were in the early stages of development.”
“Recovery and real GDP has outperformed our expectations thus far,” she said. “More than half of adults in the United States have been fully vaccinated, accelerating a full reopening.”
Biden already released a proposal for funding federal agencies last month, requesting a total of $769 billion for non-defense programs in the upcoming fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1.
The president has called for $753 billion for national defense programs in fiscal 2022, including cash for overseas activities. That amounts to a 16 percent increase over current funding levels for domestic programs, bringing that total to 3.3 percent of GDP, while providing a less than 2 percent increase for the military.
By 2031, Biden wants to spend more than $935 billion on non-defense programs and $864 billion on the military, hoping to correct what the administration sees as a history of deficient funding for the nation’s health care, education and labor programs.
Biden’s budget calls for dropping bans on federal funding for abortion — prohibitions he pledged to abolish while running for president. That move has drawn praise from the progressive lawmakers and advocacy groups who were expecting Biden to propose loosening the restrictions.
The president is not, however, proposing to strike all longstanding anti-abortion language and is asking Congress to leave some limits in place, including restrictions on international aid.
Biden’s proposals to relax restrictions on abortion funding are unlikely to survive in the Senate, where several moderate Democrats and nearly all Republicans want to keep the Hyde amendment and other anti-abortion measures.
Democrats have been waiting for Biden’s fuller request to start drafting a budget resolution, a fiscal road map that sets overall funding levels for next fiscal year. House Budget Chair John Yarmuth (D-Ky.) predicts the resolution is unlikely to survive committee, however, since Democrats are split over thorny issues like military funding.
With a slim majority in both chambers, Democrats can choose to “deem” the numbers, establishing top-line funding figures for appropriators to get started on annual spending bills and avoiding a divisive vote in the House.
“I’d be amazed if we can get a budget resolution out of the committee,” Yarmuth said last week. “I think it will be an exercise in futility.”
Alice Miranda Ollstein contributed to this report.