Breaking down President Biden’s latest budget proposal : NPR

We break down the message in President Biden’s latest budget proposal, a document the White House is using to try to pressure Republicans in Congress ahead of the upcoming debt ceiling deadline.


President Biden unveiled a $6.9 trillion budget proposal today in a speech at a union hall in Philadelphia.


PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: A printout from my father – show me your budget? I’ll tell you what you value. Well folks let me tell you what I’m guessing with the budget I’m releasing today.

SHAPIRO: This budget is more of a statement of values ​​than a roadmap of what Congress will actually pass. The president’s budget is mandated by law. Biden gives a likely preview of what he will do when he launches his anticipated reelection campaign. NPR White House Correspondent Tamara Keith is here in the studio to tell us about it. hey tam


SHAPIRO: Before we get to politics, let’s start with substance. Ahead of the budget’s release, the White House talked a lot about reducing the deficit to better align spending with revenue. Now that the budget is out, how close do you get?

KEITH: This is not an austerity budget. It has page after page of programs that Biden says will make life easier for working families — things like paid family leave, college affordability, universal free preschool. He calls for more spending on border security and more support for Ukraine. It also extends the lifespan of Medicare by 20 years by allowing more negotiation over prescription drug prices and also increasing taxes on the wealthy.

SHAPIRO: Is that paid for by tax increases?

Keith: Yes. Taxation of the rich and big corporations is a key feature of this budget. It is calling for the closure of what the White House calls tax loopholes for oil and pharmaceutical companies. It would involve rolling back some of the tax breaks that Republicans passed during the Trump administration and removing other tax breaks that have been around for longer. Biden argued that this was all just a matter of fairness.


BIDEN: No billionaire should pay lower taxes than someone who works as a school teacher or a firefighter, or any of you in this room.

KEITH: I gotta say, it really was a campaign style event. And Biden appears to be gearing up for a campaign that will focus on reaching middle- and working-class voters with an economic pitch.

SHAPIRO: Presidential budgets are usually dead when they get to Congress, no matter who’s in power. Of course, right now, the Republicans control the House of Representatives. So what are your expectations for where this budget will go?

KEITH: Oh, it’s dead on arrival.


KEITH: And the White House knows it. But that doesn’t seem to be the point here. Much of what Biden is asking for in this budget are ideas and proposals that he fought for three years ago. And the White House has stuffed our inboxes with polls showing how popular many of these ideas are with the American people. And although Republicans say the proposal is not serious and there is no chance they would support tax increases like this, this budget is an opening offer from Biden, both for negotiations with Congress on raising the debt ceiling and for funding the government.

SHAPIRO: So now Biden has said, alright America, here’s what I want to do. Did Republicans in Congress do the same?

Keith: Yes. Spokesman Kevin McCarthy said that this budget proposal was completely frivolous and that Washington had a spending problem, not a tax problem. And he criticized President Biden for not sitting down with him and simply negotiating a budget compromise. Biden responded to that in his remarks today, saying he would like to meet with McCarthy once he releases his own budget. House Republicans are yet to say what they will do. They say they need cuts to raise the debt ceiling, but haven’t said what they will cut yet. And they don’t want to cut Medicare or defense, which leaves a pretty small slice of the overall pie where they would have to get all these big cuts that they’re asking for.

SHAPIRO: NPR White House Correspondent Tamara Keith. Thanks for your reporting.

KEITH: You’re welcome.

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