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The White House is preparing to issue a $6 trillion budget proposal that would put the US at its highest planned spending levels since World War II, according to a report.
The budget documents are expected to be released Friday as President Biden’s ambitious visions to hike taxes to finance social spending and infrastructure face resistance in Congress.
The $6 trillion budget for fiscal 2022 is an aspirational document and is unlikely to be ratified without significant changes.
The budget is so large because it includes the roughly $4 trillion in spending for Biden’s proposed infrastructure and “families” plans, the New York Times reports.
If adopted, the plan would put the US annual budget deficit at $1.3 trillion per year for the next decade, according to the report, with the budget scaling up to $8.2 trillion by 2031.
The budget reportedly doesn’t include any new major policy proposals.
In a blow to left-wing Democrats, the budget is not expected to include proposed funding for a “public option” for health insurance that would compete with private policies, but it is expected to call for a public option and for lowing the Medicare age to 60, from 65.
But there’s no guarantee the budget will be adopted due to stiff Republican opposition to tax hikes on businesses, higher incomes and investments and concern from centrist Democrats about the scale of spending and the omission of certain items.
The plan comes amid reports of rising inflation on the heels of Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 stimulus bill, which passed in March with no Republican votes.
Biden’s two mammoth spending plans currently pending in Congress include his infrastructure bill, which he originally pitched at $2.3 trillion, with $400 billion planned for home and community health care and $174 billion for electric vehicle subsidies.
A Senate Republican counteroffer unveiled Thursday came in at $928 billion. Republicans object to social spending in Biden’s plan, but also differ on how to pay for it.
The Times reports that Biden’s budget would put the US at its highest planned level of spending as a percentage of the economy since World War II, though overall spending was higher in 2020 and 2021 due to emergency pandemic packages.
If they maintain unity, Democrats are able to ram Biden’s massive infrastructure plan through Congress — plus the complimentary $1.8 billion “families” plan — without any Republican votes under budget reconciliation rules that bypass the usual 60 votes needed in the Senate.
Democrats face internal divisions, however, increasing the appeal of compromise and making it less than certain they could force through a bill without any Republicans.
In the House, where Democrats hold an eight-seat advantage, a trio of New York-area legislators led by Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-NY) say they won’t agree to any changes in the tax code unless the $10,000 “SALT cap” is eliminated. The cap since 2017 has limited the amount of state and local taxes that residents of high-tax jurisdictions like New York can deduct before paying federal taxes, and its repeal wasn’t in Biden’s new proposals.
And in the Senate, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) whose vote alone could derail the infrastructure and “families” bills, said he’s “very uncomfortable” with the amount of spending being proposed.
The White House Office of Management and Budget did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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