Tag Archives: federal budget

White House: Impacts of House Republicans’ Extreme CR 8% Cuts

New York City public school. The extremist House Republicans’ extortion demand to cut spending by 8% – or else they will shut down the government – will cost up to 40,000 fewer teachers, aides, or other key staff across the country, affecting 26 million students in schools that teach low-income students and 7.5 million students with disabilities. © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

From the White House:

With just a week before the end of the fiscal year, extreme House Republicans are playing partisan games with peoples’ lives and marching our country toward a government shutdown instead of working in a bipartisan manner to keep the government open and address emergency needs for the American people.

The continuing resolution the House Republicans introduced this week makes indiscriminate cuts to programs that millions of hardworking Americans count on—violating the agreement the Speaker negotiated with President Biden and rejecting the bipartisan approach of the Senate. House Republicans have made clear that these cuts are designed to force longer-term cuts, in-line with their extreme and damaging appropriations bills. So what would it mean for the American people if House Republicans’ proposed 8% cuts were extended for the entire year?

IMPACTS OF HOUSE REPUBLICANS’ EXTREME CR:

  • 800 fewer Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents and officers
     
  • 50,000 pounds of cocaine, more than 300 pounds of fentanyl, more than 700 pounds of heroin, and more than 6,000 pounds of methamphetamine let into our country due to cuts to CBP
     
  • 110,000 children would lose access to Head Start slots
     
  • 65,000 children would lose access to childcare
     
  • 60,000 seniors would be robbed of nutrition services like Meals on Wheels
     
  • 2.1 million women, infants, and children would be waitlisted for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
     
  • Up to 40,000 fewer teachers, aides, or other key staff across the country, affecting 26 million students in schools that teach low-income students and 7.5 million students with disabilities
     
  • Nearly 70 fewer Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) agents, who are often some of the first federal law enforcement on the scene of a mass shooting to help local law enforcement identify at-large shooters—and 13 furlough days for ATF’s entire workforce
     
  • 4,000 fewer rail safety inspection days next year alone, with nearly 11,000 fewer miles of track inspected annually—enough track to cross the United States more than 3 times
     
  • 145 fewer members of local law enforcement due to cuts at the Department of Justice
     
  • Nearly 300,000 households—including 20,000 veterans and 90,000 seniors—would lose housing choice vouchers, putting them at greater risk of homelessness
     
  • A roughly $500 reduction to the maximum Pell Grant for 6.6 million students
     
  • 4,000 fewer FBI personnel, including agents who investigate crimes
     
  • 250,000 American workers would be denied job training and employment services—resulting in 35,000 fewer workers gaining the opportunity of a Registered Apprenticeship
     
  • 50,000 workers would lose an average of $1,000 in back wages they are owed
     
  • People applying for disability benefits would have to wait months longer

State by State: House Republicans Renege on Budget Deal, Push Funding Bills that Would Have Devastating Impact Across America

Congressional Republicans are holding the nation hostage, threatening a government shutdown unless the Biden Administration makes massive cuts that will impact every state. The White House produced a report detailing the impact by state. In New York, for example, the Republicans want to slash funding for schools with low-income students. House Republicans’ 80 percent cut to Title I funding would impact 1,535,500 students in schools that teach low income students by forcing a reduction of up to 18,500 teachers, aides or other key staff © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

House Republicans’ are proposing appropriations bills would raise a host of costs for families, hurt students, seniors, and rural communities, slash support for law enforcement, and undermine our economy—while Congressional Republicans fight separately for multi-millionaires and big corporations to get massive tax cuts. Basically going back on the deal that was negotiated just months ago, with Biden saved the nation from its first ever credit default, they are now using extortion, threatening a government shutdown, if they don’t get these cuts, along with policy changes to undermine women’s rights. This fact sheet from the White House details the impacts on individual states.–Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

See also: Speaker McCarthy Capitulates to MAGA, Orders Baseless Biden Impeachment Inquiry as Shutdown Looms

Earlier this year, the President and Congressional leaders reached a bipartisan budget agreement that averted a first-ever default and protected our historic economic progress. The President, House Democrats, Senate Democrats, and Senate Republicans all stand by this promise. Unfortunately, Speaker McCarthy and House Republicans are ignoring the bipartisan budget agreement they passed and instead advancing extreme, partisan appropriations bills that break their public promise and gut key investments in the American people.

House Republicans claim these cuts are about fiscal responsibility—but they aren’t. Not only would their bills add at least $100 billion to deficits over 10 years by making it easier for the wealthy and big corporations to cheat on their taxes, but House Republicans are separately pushing corporate tax giveaways that would cost over $500 billion if made permanent—including at least $30 billion in retroactive tax breaks for investments companies made last year. These retroactive tax cuts alone would erase the savings from their deep cuts to education, health, and labor programs.1

Today, the Office of Management and Budget released 51 fact sheets highlighting the devastating impacts of these extreme cuts on states and the District of Columbia. Below are some of the most harmful elements of House Republicans’ appropriations bills that they will begin to consider this week.

The cuts in the House appropriations bills would:

  • Slash Funding for Schools with Low-Income Students: House Republicans’ 80 percent cut to Title I funding would impact 26 million students in schools that teach low-income students by forcing a reduction of up to 226,000 teachers, aides or other key staff. 
    • Eliminate Tens of Thousands of Preschool Slots: House Republicans’ cut to Head Start would mean as many as 82,000 children would lose access to high-quality preschool—undermining their education, leaving fewer children ready to enter kindergarten ready to learn, and making it more difficult for parents to join the workforce.
    • Slash Funding for Law Enforcement: The proposed cut to the FBI would eliminate up to 1,850 personnel, including up to 673 agents, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives would be forced to eliminate approximately 400 positions, including more than 200 agents. The House bill also cuts funding for U.S. Attorneys by roughly 12 percent, which would eliminate approximately 1,400 positions. 
    • Raise Housing Costs for Tens of Thousands: The proposed cuts would raise housing costs by eliminating funding for Housing Choice Vouchers for 20,000 households, including approximately 6,000 households headed by seniors. In addition, a nearly 70 percent cut to the HOME Investment Partnerships Program would result in 20,000 fewer affordable homes being constructed, rehabbed, or purchased in communities across the country.
    • Slash Critical Job Training and Workforce Development Programs: The proposal would result in half a million fewer people receiving job training and employment services. These harmful cuts would deprive businesses of the skilled workforce they need to thrive, and would cut off workers’ pathways to good jobs.
    • Undermine Critical Health Research: House Republicans’ cuts would undermine critical research efforts to find treatments and cures for diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s by cutting $3.8 billion for the National Institutes of Health. They would also eliminate funding for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, which would end the Long COVID research at the agency and delay other priority health services research.

In addition to demanding these draconian cuts, House Republicans are also fighting to rescind vital funding that is helping make our tax code fairer, rebuilding America’s infrastructure, lowering costs for families, and tackling the climate crisis. Their proposals would:

  • Increase Risks of Lead Exposure: The proposal would rescind over $564 million in funding for programs that mitigate housing-related risks of lead poisoning and other illnesses and hazards to lower income families, especially children, resulting in 55,000 fewer homes safe of hazards and adversely impacting approximately 78,000 children.
    • Protect Wealthy Tax Cheats: While House Republicans separately lay the groundwork for more than $3 trillion in tax cuts skewed to the wealthy and big corporations, they are also fighting to make it easier for wealthy tax cheats to avoid paying what they owe—proposing to rescind $67 billion dollars in funding for the IRS enacted in the Inflation Reduction Act, which would increase the deficit by more than $100 billion.
    • Increase Energy Costs for Rural Americans: Rescinding $2 billion in funding provided by the Inflation Reduction Act for programs at USDA would undermine programs that help agricultural producers and rural small businesses convert to renewable energy systems, and that help rural Americans to build clean, affordable, and reliable energy by working with approximately 900 electric cooperatives in 47 States.
    • Shortchange Home Electrification Projects: Rescinding $4.5 billion in funding provided by the Inflation Reduction Act for the High-Efficiency Electric Home Rebate Program would impact at least 250,000 home electrification and appliance upgrade projects in low- and medium-income homes across all States, territories, and tribes.
    • Undermine Clean Technology Investments and Pollution Reduction: Rescinding $20 billion in funding provided by the Inflation Reduction Act for programs at EPA would take away funds designed to help communities access grant opportunities to reduce pollution and mobilize private capital into clean technology projects, especially in low-income and disadvantaged communities. These programs will spur investment in clean technology projects and expand economic opportunities in communities, helping to cut harmful pollution and protect people’s health while tackling the climate crisis.
    • Slash Support for Teachers: Rescinding $1.7 billion—or 77 percent—in the Supporting Effective Instruction State Grants (Title II) program would severely undermine the program’s ability to improve the effectiveness of teachers in the classroom.

A deal is a deal. The President and the Speaker already made a bipartisan budget agreement—one that would result in $1 trillion of deficit reduction over the next decade. Every party to that agreement except House Republicans—House Democrats, Senate Democrats, Senate Republicans, and President Biden—are honoring their word. It is a balanced deal that protects critical investments while ensuring fiscal responsibility. We urge House Republicans to follow the law they helped enact and the Senate’s bipartisan approach to funding the government according to the deal.

State Fact Sheets:

STATE x STATE FACT SHEETS: MAGA House Republicans’ Default on America Act Would Have Devastating Impacts Across America

Air traffic control limitations are already forcing airline companies to reduce schedules ahead of the busy summer travel season. The House Republicans’ Default on America Act would shut down services at 375 federally-staffed and contract Air Traffic Control Towers across the country—undermining safety at two thirds of all U.S. airports—and increase wait times at TSA security check points by over 2 hours at large airports across the country.  © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

The MAGA Republicans’ extreme bill would cut veterans’ health care, jeopardize public safety, and raise costs for families—even as House Republicans separately push for trillions in tax cuts skewed to the wealthy and big corporations. Essentially the Republicans are holding the economy, and millions of families hostage. It comes down to: “Pretty nice economy you got here. Terrible if something bad would happen to it.” This fact sheet is supplied by the White House: 

Congressional Republicans are holding the nation’s full faith and credit hostage in an effort to impose devastating cuts that would hurt veterans, raise costs for hardworking families, and hinder economic growth. The Default on America Act would cut veterans’ health care, education, Meals on Wheels, and public safety, take away health care from millions of Americans, and send manufacturing jobs overseas. Outside economists say that if enacted, the Default on America Act would “increase the likelihood” of a recession and result in 780,000 fewer jobs by the end of 2024. And House Republicans are demanding these cuts while separately advancing proposals to add over $3 trillion to deficits through tax cuts and giveaways skewed to the wealthy and big corporations.
 
The Default on America Act stands in sharp contrast with President Biden’s Budget, which invests in America, lowers costs for families, protects and strengthens Medicare and Social Security, and reduces the deficit by nearly $3 trillion over 10 years, while ensuring no one making less than $400,000 per year pays a penny more in new taxes.
 
Today, the White House released 51 fact sheets highlighting the devastating impacts of the Default on America Act on states and the District of Columbia. Nationally, the Default on America Act would have devastating impacts on the American people. It would:
 

Jeopardize Transportation Safety and Infrastructure

  • Cut Nearly 7,500 Rail Safety Inspections. At a time when train derailments are wreaking havoc on community safety, The Default on America Act would lead to nearly 7,500 fewer rail safety inspection days and over 30,000 fewer miles of track inspected annually—enough track to cross the United States nearly 10 times. Since the Norfolk Southern train derailment, bipartisan Senators have called for more rail inspections, not fewer.
     
  • Jeopardize Air Safety by Shutting Down at Least 375 Air Traffic Control Towers. The Default on America Act would shut down services at 375 federally-staffed and contract Air Traffic Control Towers across the country—undermining safety at two thirds of all U.S. airports—and increase wait times at TSA security check points by over 2 hours at large airports across the country.  
     
  • Withhold Vital Transportation Infrastructure Funding. Under the Default on America Act, the United States would stand to lose nearly $5.2 billion in funding for transit and highway infrastructure projects all across the country.
     

Raise Costs for Families

  • Eliminate Preschool and Child Care Slots. The Default on America Act would mean 200,000 children lose access to Head Start slots and 180,000 children lose access to child care—undermining our children’s education and making it more difficult for parents to join the workforce and contribute to our economy.
     
  • Strip Nutrition Assistance from Women and Children. The Default on America Act would also mean 1.7 million women, infants, and children would lose vital nutrition assistance through the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), increasing child poverty and hunger.
     
  • Raise Housing Costs for Americans. Under the Default on America Act, more than 600,000 families would lose access to rental assistance, including older adults, persons with disabilities, and families with children, who without rental assistance would be at risk of homelessness.

 
Harm Seniors, Older People, and Veterans

  • Threaten Medical Care for Veterans. The House Republicans’ Default on America Act would mean 30 million fewer veteran outpatient visits, and 81,000 jobs lost across the Veterans Health Administration, leaving veterans unable to get appointments for care including wellness visits, cancer screenings, mental health services, and substance use disorder treatment.
     
  • Worsen Social Security and Medicare Assistance Wait Times for Seniors. Under the House Republicans’ Default on America Act, people applying for disability benefits would have to wait at least two months longer for a decision. With fewer staff available, seniors would also be forced to endure longer wait times when they call for assistance for both Social Security and Medicare, and as many as 240 Social Security field offices could be forced to close or shorten the hours they are open to the public.
     
  • Jeopardize Food Assistance for Older Adults. House Republicans are threatening food assistance for up to 900,000 older adults with the Default on America Act’s harsh new eligibility restrictions in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
     

Jeopardize Health Coverage and Access to Care

  • Jeopardize Health Coverage and Access to Care for Americans. The Default on America Act would put health insurance coverage—and health—at risk for 21 million Americans. Only one state has ever fully implemented similar policies, and nearly 1 in 4 adults subject to the policy lost their health coverage—including working people and people with serious health conditions—with no evidence of increased employment.
     
  • Deny Americans Access to Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder. The Default on America Act would deny access to opioid use disorder treatment for more than 28,000 people through the State Opioid Response grant program—denying them a potentially life-saving path to recovery. 

 
Hurt Children and Students and Undermine Education and Job Training

  • Gut Funding for Low-Income Students. The Default on America Act would cut approximately $4 billion in funding for schools serving low-income children—equivalent to removing more than 60,000 teachers and specialized instructional support personnel from classrooms, impacting an estimated 26 million students.
     
  • Reduce Support for Students with Disabilities. Under the Default on America Act, as many as 7.5 million children with disabilities would face reduced supports—a cut equivalent to removing more than 48,000 teachers and related services providers from the classroom.
     
  • Slash Mental Health Support for Students. The Default on America Act would limit educators’ abilities to address student mental health issues and prevent suicide and drug use by cutting funding dedicated to creating healthy learning environments in schools by about $300 million.
     
  • Eliminate Student Debt Relief. The Default on America Act would eliminate the President’s one-time student debt relief plan, denying much needed emergency student loan relief of up to $20,000 for more than 40 million Americans recovering from the effects of the pandemic. It would also block the creation of new, more affordable student loan repayment plans such as the President’s proposal to cut undergraduate loans payments in half.
     
  • Make College More Expensive. The Default on America Act would reduce the maximum award for Pell Grants by nearly $1,000, likely eliminating it altogether for 80,000 students while making it harder for the remaining 6.6 million recipients to attend and afford college.
     
  • Cut Off Access to Workforce Development Services. The Default on America Act would result in nearly 700,000 fewer workers receiving job training and employment services provided through the Department of Labor’s workforce development funding. These harmful cuts would deprive businesses of the skilled workforce they need to thrive, and would cut off worker pathways to good jobs.

 
State Fact Sheets:

This analysis assumes an across-the-board reduction of roughly 22% compared to currently enacted FY 2023 levels for non-defense discretionary accounts. That aligns with Congressional Republicans’ Default on America Act, which would return discretionary spending to FY 2022 levels on an ongoing basis while exempting defense spending.

Biden Proposes Budget That Reduces Deficits by $3 Trillion While Protecting Medicare, Social Security, Growing Economy from Bottom Up, Middle Out

A budget is a statement of values, and President Biden is proposing a budget that answers the call for decades for access to affordable health care, public education, good jobs. It builds on two years of record gains in the economy – including creating 12 million jobs, the lowest unemployment rate in 50 years, protects and shores up Social Security and Medicare, while reducing the budget deficit by $1.7 trillion. The proposed budget continues these gains – growing the economy from the bottom up and the middle out, as he often says – while cutting the deficit by $3 trillion over the decade.  © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

The White House released a fact sheet detailing President Biden’s proposed budget, aimed at investing in America, lowering costs for working class and middle class families, cutting taxes for working families, and protecting and strengthening Medicare and Social Security. It demonstrates the president’s long-held values that seeks to achieve stable, sustainable economy that grows from the bottom up and the middle out.

President Biden has long believed that we need to grow the economy from the bottom up and middle out, not the top down. Over the past two years, in the face of significant challenges, that economic strategy has produced historic progress for the American people.
 
Under the President’s leadership, the economy has added more than 12 million jobs—more jobs in two years than any president has created in a four-year term—including 800,000 manufacturing jobs. The unemployment rate has fallen to 3.4 percent, the lowest in 54 years. The Black and Hispanic unemployment rates are near record lows. The past two years were the best two years for new small business applications on record. The President has taken action to lower costs and give families more breathing room, including cutting prescription drug costs, health insurance premiums, and energy bills, while driving the uninsured rate to historic lows. And the President’s plan is rebuilding America’s infrastructure, making the economy more competitive, investing in American innovation and industries that will define the future, and fueling a manufacturing boom that is strengthening parts of the country that have long been left behind while creating good jobs for workers, including those without college degrees.
 
The President has done all of this while delivering on his commitment to fiscal responsibility. While the previous Administration passed a nearly $2 trillion unpaid-for tax cut with benefits skewed to the wealthy and big corporations while dramatically increasing the deficit, President Biden cut the deficit by more than $1.7 trillion during his first two years in office—the largest decline in American history. And the reforms he signed into law to take on Big Pharma, lower prescription drug costs, and make the wealthy and large corporations pay their fair share will reduce the deficit by hundreds of billions of dollars more over the coming decade.
 
The President’s Budget details a blueprint to build on this progress, deliver on the agenda he laid out in his State of the Union, and finish the job: continuing to grow the economy from the bottom up and middle out by investing in America, lowering costs for families, protecting and strengthening Medicare and Social Security, and reducing the deficit by nearly $3 trillion over the next decade by making the wealthy and big corporations pay their fair share and cutting wasteful spending on Big Pharma, Big Oil, and other special interests. No one earning less than $400,000 per year will pay a penny in new taxes.
 
Congressional Republicans have taken a very different approach. While they have consistently said that reducing the deficit is a top priority, Congressional Republicans have already proposed policies that would add an additional $3 trillion to the debt over the next decade—all while raising costs for working families and handing out tax giveaways to the wealthy and big corporations. As the President has made clear, they owe the American people a detailed accounting of exactly what they plan to cut in order to cover the costs of their proposals, while also achieving the kinds of fiscal targets that they claim to support. Until they produce a plan, we’re left to rely on a wide array of Republican budgets, statements, and proposals—past and present—which provide clear and consistent evidence that many critical programs the American people count on will be on the chopping block.
 
Lowering Costs and Giving Families More Breathing Room
 
As our economy transitions from a historically strong recovery to stable and steady growth, the President has remained laser-focused on continuing to lower costs for families and giving them more breathing room, without giving up the historic economic gains we’ve made. While more work remains, there are clear signs that the President’s strategy is working. Annual inflation is lower than it was seven months ago, gas prices are down $1.60 per gallon since their peak last summer, and unemployment remains at its lowest level in 54 years, while take home pay has gone up. And the Biden-Harris Administration has taken historic action to lower the costs of health care, clean energy, and prescription drugs, eliminate junk fees that make it harder for families to make ends meet, promote greater competition to lower costs, and address pandemic-driven supply chain bottlenecks. While some Congressional Republicans have proposed repealing the Inflation Reduction Act and taken other actions that would raise costs for working families, the President’s Budget takes a very different approach—proposing a package of policies to continue lowering everyday costs for the American people.
 
Cuts Taxes for Families with Children and American Workers. The President is calling for the restoration of the full Child Tax Credit enacted in the American Rescue Plan, which cut child poverty in half in 2021, to the lowest level in history. The Budget would expand the credit from $2,000 per child to $3,000 per child for children six years old and above, and to $3,600 per child for children under six. The Budget would also permanently reform the credit to make it fully refundable. The President also calls on the Congress to make the Earned Income Tax Credit expansion for childless workers permanent, which would help pull low-paid workers out of poverty.
 
Lowers Health Care Costs. The President believes that health care should be a right, not a privilege. With enrollment in affordable health coverage at an all-time high, the Budget builds on the remarkable success of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), by making permanent the average $800 per year premium cuts through expanded premium tax credits that the Inflation Reduction Act extended. It also provides Medicaid-like coverage to individuals in States that have not adopted Medicaid expansion under the ACA, paired with financial incentives to ensure States maintain their existing expansions. 
 
Reduces Prescription Drug Costs for All Americans. The Budget builds upon the Inflation Reduction Act to continue lowering the cost of prescription drugs. For Medicare, this includes further strengthening the newly established negotiation power by extending it to more drugs and bringing drugs into negotiation sooner after they launch. The Budget also proposes to limit Medicare Part D cost-sharing for high-value generic drugs used for certain chronic conditions like hypertension and high cholesterol to no more than $2. For Medicaid, the Budget includes proposals to ensure Medicaid and CHIP programs are prudent purchasers of prescription drugs, authorizing HHS to negotiate supplemental drug rebates on behalf of interested States in order to pool purchasing power. For the commercial market, the Budget includes proposals to curb inflation in prescription drug prices and cap the prices of insulin products at $35 for a monthly prescription. 
 
Expands Access to Quality, Affordable Health Care. The Budget invests $150 billion over 10 years to improve and expand Medicaid home and community-based services, such as personal care services, which would allow seniors and individuals with disabilities to remain in their homes and stay active in their communities as well as improve the quality of jobs for home care workers. And because community health centers—which provide comprehensive services regardless of ability to pay—serve one in three people living in poverty and one in five rural residents, the Budget puts the Health Center Program on a path to double its size and expand its reach. To bolster the health care workforce, the Budget provides a total of $966 million in 2024 to expand the National Health Service Corps, which provides loan repayment and scholarships to health care professionals in exchange for practicing in underserved areas, and a total of $350 million to expand programs that train and support the nursing workforce.  
 
Expands Access to Affordable, High-Quality Early Child Care and Learning. Too many families across America cannot access high-quality, affordable child care—preventing parents from working and holding back our entire economy. The President’s Budget enables states to increase child care options for more than 16 million young children and lowers costs so that parents can afford to send their children to high-quality child care. The Budget also funds a Federal-State partnership that provides high-quality, universal, free preschool to support healthy child development and ensure children enter kindergarten ready to succeed.
 
Lowers Housing Costs by Increasing Affordable Housing Supply and Expanding Access to Homeownership and Affordable Rent. The President believes that everyone deserves a safe and affordable place to live. To address the critical shortage of affordable housing in communities throughout the country that has exacerbated inflation, the Budget includes $59 billion in mandatory funding and tax incentives aimed at increasing the affordable housing supply, including for extremely low-income households. The Budget also includes $10 billion in mandatory funding to incentivize State, local, and regional jurisdictions to make progress in removing barriers to affordable housing developments, such as restrictive zoning. By expanding the supply of housing, the Budget would help prevent the kind of rapid increases in rental and homeownership costs we have seen in recent years. The Budget also includes $10 billion in mandatory funding for a new First-Generation Down Payment Assistance program to help address racial and ethnic homeownership and wealth gaps—making homeownership more attainable for Americans who have been locked out of the generational wealth building that can come with owning a home. And the Budget expands access to affordable rent through the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program to well over 200,000 additional households. In addition to assisting all current voucher recipients and providing new vouchers for tens of thousands of additional families, the Budget includes mandatory funding to support two populations that are particularly vulnerable to homelessness—guaranteed assistance for all 20,000 youth who age out of foster care annually and an incremental expansion to cover the 450,000 extremely low-income (ELI) veteran families nationwide.
 
Improves College Affordability and Expands Free Community College. The Budget proposes to increase the discretionary maximum Pell Grant by $500—helping more than 6.8 million students pay for college, building on successful bipartisan efforts to increase the maximum Pell Grant award by $900 over the past two years, and laying out a path to double the award by 2029. The Budget also invests mandatory and discretionary funding to expand free community college, and provides mandatory funding for two years of subsidized tuition for students from families earning less than $125,000 enrolled in a participating four-year Historically Black College or University (HBCU), Tribally-Controlled College or University (TCCU), or Minority-Serving Institution (MSI). 
 
Lowers Home Energy and Water Costs. The Budget provides $4.1 billion for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), building on the $13 billion provided in the Inflation Reduction Act to reduce energy bills for families, expand clean energy, transform rural power production, and create thousands of good-paying jobs for people across rural America. Since the Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) expires at the end of 2023, the Budget proposes to expand LIHEAP funding and allow States the option to use a portion of their LIHEAP funds to provide water bill assistance to low-income households.
 
Increases Food Security. As called for in the National Strategy on Hunger, Nutrition and Health, the Budget provides over $15 billion to allow more States and schools to leverage participation in the Community Eligibility Program and provide healthy and free school meals to an additional 9 million children. The Budget also includes $6.3 billion to support the 6.5 million individuals expected to participate in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).
 
Protecting and Strengthening Medicare and Social Security
 
The President has always believed that Medicare and Social Security are a promise—a rock-solid guarantee generations of Americans have counted on to be able to retire with dignity and security. The President will reject any efforts to cut the Medicare or Social Security benefits that seniors and people with disabilities have earned and paid into their entire working lives. The Budget honors that ironclad commitment—not only by rejecting benefit cuts, but by embracing reforms and investments that will protect and strengthen both programs. The President is committed to working with Congress to ensure Medicare and Social Security remain strong for their beneficiaries, now and in the future.
 
Protects and Strengthens Medicare. The Budget strengthens Medicare by extending the solvency of the Medicare Trust Fund by at least 25 years, without cutting any benefits or raising costs for beneficiaries. The Budget includes key reforms to the tax code to ensure high-income individuals pay their fair share into the Medicare HI trust fund. It also directs the revenue from the Net Investment Income Tax into the HI trust fund as was originally intended. Finally, the Budget directs the savings from the Budget’s proposed Medicare drug reforms into the HI trust fund. 
 
Protects the Social Security Benefits that Americans Have Earned. The Administration is committed to protecting and strengthening Social Security and opposes any attempt to cut Social Security benefits for current or future recipients. The Administration looks forward to working with the Congress to responsibly strengthen Social Security by ensuring that high-income individuals pay their fair share. The Budget also invests in staff, information technology, and other improvements at the Social Security Administration, providing an increase of $1.4 billion, a 10 percent increase, over the 2023 enacted level.  These funds would improve customer service at Social Security Administration field offices, State disability determination services, and teleservice centers for retirees, individuals with disabilities, and their families.
 
Growing the Economy from the Bottom up and Middle Out by Investing in America and Its People
 
The Budget proposes smart, targeted investments to grow the economy from the bottom up and middle out, not the top down, by investing in America and its people—investing in the foundations of our country’s economic strength; confronting the climate crisis while creating clean energy jobs; and advancing equity, dignity, and opportunity and strengthening our democracy.
 
Investing in the Foundations of Our Economic Strength
 
Invests in American Manufacturing. The Budget provides $375 million for the National Institutes of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Industrial Technology Services to support the progress of NIST’s existing manufacturing institute, fund a new institute to be launched in 2023, and promote domestic production of institute-developed technologies. The Budget also includes $277 million for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership, a public-private partnership that offers advisory services to small and medium enterprises.
 
Makes Historic Investments in Innovation and Cutting-Edge Research. The Budget provides almost $21 billion in discretionary spending for CHIPS and Science Act-authorized activities. This funding includes $1.2 billion for the CHIPS and Science Act-authorized Directorate for Technology, Innovation, and Partnerships to help accelerate and translate scientific research into innovations, industries, and jobs, as well as $300 million for NSF’s Regional Innovation Engines program to galvanize use-inspired research, technology translation, and workforce development. Within DOE’s Office of Science, the Budget also supports cutting-edge research in artificial intelligence, quantum information sciences, microelectronics, and isotope production at the national laboratories and universities. In addition, the Budget requests $4 billion in new mandatory funding for the Regional Technology and Innovation Hub Program at the Economic Development Administration. And the Budget provides $210 billion for Federal research and development, an historic level of investment in American science, technology and innovation.
 
Provides National, Comprehensive Paid Family and Medical Leave and Calls for Paid Sick Leave for All Workers. Workers power our economy—and when they thrive, our economy thrives. The Budget proposes to establish a national, comprehensive paid family and medical leave program, providing up to 12 weeks of leave to allow eligible workers to take time off to care and bond with a new child; care for a seriously ill loved one; heal from their own serious illness; address circumstances arising from a loved one’s military deployment; or find safety from domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. The President also calls on Congress to require employers to provide seven job-protected paid sick days each year to all workers.
 
Expands Workforce Training that Provides Pathways to Good Jobs. The Budget invests in evidence-based training models to ensure all workers—including women, workers of color, and workers in rural areas—have the skills they need for the good jobs being created by the President’s historic legislative accomplishments. The Budget invests $335 million in Registered Apprenticeship, an earn-and-learn model, to provide debt-free pathways to careers in construction, clean energy, semiconductor manufacturing, and other in-demand industries. The Budget also provides $200 million for the new Sectoral Employment through Career Training for Occupational Readiness (SECTOR) program, which will support development and expansion of public-private partnerships to equitably deliver high-quality training in growing industries, and invests $100 million to help community colleges partner with employers and the public workforce system to design and deliver effective training models in communities across the Nation.
 
Invests in High-Poverty Schools. The Budget provides $20.5 billion for Title I, a $2.2 billion increase above the 2023 enacted level, delivering critical funding to 90 percent of school districts across the Nation and helping them provide students in low-income communities the academic opportunities and support they need to succeed. This increase in funding addresses chronic funding gaps between high-poverty schools—which disproportionately serve students of color—and their wealthier counterparts.  
 
Taking Historic Action to Cut Energy Bills for Families and Confront the Climate Crisis While Creating Clean Energy Jobs Across America
 
Cuts Energy Bills for Families and Creates Jobs Building Clean Energy Infrastructure. The Budget invests $4.5 billion in clean energy across America, bringing jobs to rural communities and cities, leaving no one behind. The Budget supports clean energy workforce development and sustainable infrastructure projects across the country, including $1.8 billion to weatherize and retrofit low-income Americans’ homes, and $83 million to electrify Tribal homes and transition Tribal Colleges and universities to renewable energy.
 
Makes Historic Investments in Science & Research to Continue to Cut the Cost of Clean Energy. To boost American innovation and sustain American leadership in research and scientific discovery, the Budget also provides a historic investment of $16.5 billion in climate science and clean energy innovation. The Budget includes $3.5 billion of the $8.8 billion total for DOE’s Office of Science and $1.6 billion at NSF, and makes advancements toward the CHIPS and Science Act authorizations, including $1 billion for fusion, the largest ever investment in the promise of a clean energy power source.
 
Cuts Global Warming Pollution. The Budget invests in reducing global warming pollution and achieving the President’s target to cut greenhouse gas emissions 50-52 percent by 2030. These investments include an additional $64.4 million at EPA to implement the American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act and continue phasing out potent greenhouse gases known as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). The Budget supports $1.2 billion in DOE industrial decarbonization activities.
 
Helps Increase Climate Resilience and Bolsters Conservation. The Budget invests more than $24 billion to help build communities’ resilience to floods, wildfires, storms, extreme heat, and drought brought on by climate change, expand conservation and ecosystem management, strengthen America’s natural disaster response capabilities, increase the resilience of rural housing to the impacts of climate change while reducing rent burdens, and ensure the resilience of our nation’s defense to climate change.
 
Advances Equity and Environmental Justice. The Administration continues to prioritize efforts to deliver environmental justice in communities across the United States, including meeting the President’s Justice40 Initiative to ensure that 40 percent of the overall benefits of Federal investments in climate and clean energy reach disadvantaged communities, including rural and Tribal communities. The Budget bolsters these efforts by investing nearly $1.8 billion at EPA across numerous programs that will support securing environmental justice for communities that bear the brunt of toxic pollution and climate change. The Budget also provides EPA $219 million to help remediate lead contamination in water, an increase of $163 million over the 2023 enacted level.
 
Increases Global Energy Security, Infrastructure, and Resilience. The Budget supports the President’s pledges to more than quadruple international climate finance and to provide more than $3 billion for the President’s Emergency Plan for Adaptation and Resilience (PREPARE). This includes a $1.6 billion contribution to the Green Climate Fund and a $1.2 billion loan to the Clean Technology Fund. The Budget also advances new tools, such as loan guarantees, to re-assert U.S. leadership in the Indo-Pacific to finance energy security and infrastructure projects and reduce reliance on volatile energy supplies and prices.
 
Expanding Access to High-Quality Health Care and Improving Health Outcomes
 
Advances Maternal Health and Health Equity. The United States has the highest maternal mortality rate among developed nations, and rates are disproportionately high for Black and American Indian and Alaska Native women. The Budget includes $471 million to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity rates; expand maternal health initiatives in rural communities; implement implicit bias training for health care providers; create pregnancy medical home demonstration projects; and address the highest rates of perinatal health disparities, including by supporting the perinatal health workforce. In addition, the Budget requires all States to provide continuous Medicaid coverage for 12 months postpartum, eliminating gaps in health insurance at a critical time.
 
Advances Cancer Moonshot Goals. The Cancer Moonshot aims to reduce the cancer death rate by at least 50 percent over the next 25 years and improve the experience of people who are living with or have survived cancer, their families, and caregivers. The Budget includes $1.7 billion for dedicated Cancer Moonshot activities across the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), in addition to targeted investments at the Departments of Veterans Affairs, Defense, Agriculture, and other Cancer Cabinet agencies, and a total investment of $7.8 billion at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to drive progress on ways to prevent, detect, and treat cancer. The Budget also provides an increase of $1 billion for the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H), for a total of $2.5 billion, to drive innovative health research and speed the implementation of breakthroughs that would transform the treatment, prevention, and early detection of cancer and other diseases.
 
Transforms Behavioral Health Care. The United States is facing a mental health crisis. While recently enacted legislation takes significant steps to address this crisis, much more can be done. For people with private health insurance, the Budget expands coverage of mental health benefits and strengthens the network of behavioral health providers. For people with Medicare, the Budget lowers patients’ costs for mental health services, requires parity in coverage between behavioral health and medical benefits, and expands coverage for behavioral health providers. The Budget provides historic investments in the behavioral health workforce, youth mental health care, Certified Community Based Behavioral Health Clinics, Community Mental Health Centers, and mental health research.
 
Making Our Communities Safer, Advancing Equity and Opportunity, and Strengthening American Democracy
 
Invests in Federal Law Enforcement, Community Violence Interventions, and Prevention to Combat Gun Violence and Other Violent Crime. The Budget continues to fund the President’s comprehensive Safer America Plan, including funding to put 100,000 additional police officers on our streets for accountable, community-oriented policing; $19.4 billion over 10 years for crime prevention strategies; and $5 billion over 10 years for community violence interventions. The Budget also includes $17.8 billion for DOJ law enforcement, including a total of nearly $2 billion for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) to expand multijurisdictional gun trafficking strike forces with additional personnel, increase regulation of the firearms industry, and implement the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. The Budget also includes $1.9 billion for the U.S. Marshals Service to support personnel dedicated to fighting violent crime, as well as $51 million to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to support the continued implementation of enhanced background checks required by the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act.
 
Prioritizes Efforts to End Gender-Based Violence. The Budget proposes $1 billion to support implementation of programs through the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (VAWA), which was recently reauthorized and strengthened in 2022. The Budget supports substantial increases for longstanding VAWA programs, including key investments in legal assistance for victims, transitional housing, and sexual assault services. The Budget also includes $519 million for the Family Violence Prevention and Services (FVPSA) program and the National Domestic Violence Hotline to support domestic violence survivors—double the 2023 enacted level.
 
Advances Child and Family Well-Being in the Child Welfare System. The Budget proposes to expand and incentivize the use of evidence-based foster care prevention services to keep families safely together and reduce the number of children entering foster care. The Budget provides States with support to place more foster children with relatives or other adults who have an existing emotional bond with the children, while also providing additional funding to support youth who age out of care without a permanent caregiver. In addition, the Budget proposes to make the adoption tax credit refundable and to extend the credit to legal guardianships. This would reduce the financial burden on low- and moderate-income families wishing to pursue adoption, as well as for families who opt for legal guardianship.
 
Strengthens Our Democracy. To continue efforts to restore and strengthen American democracy, the Budget proposes $5 billion in new election assistance funding to be allocated over 10 years, $1.5 billion to support increasing the living allowance provided to AmeriCorps members so that national service is a more accessible pathway to success, and $73 million to support American history and civics education programs.
 
Keeping America Safe and Confronting Global Challenges
 
Even as he has taken decisive action to strengthen America at home, the President has worked with allies and partners to confront pressing global challenges. The Budget builds on that progress through proposals to continue addressing threats to global security and strengthening the U.S. military, addressing pressing global challenges, strengthening border security and the U.S. immigration system, and honoring America’s commitment to veterans, servicemembers, families, caregivers, and survivors.
 
Supports Ukraine, European Allies, and Partners. The Budget continues support for Ukraine, the United States’ strong alliance with the states of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and other European partner states by prioritizing funding to enhance the capabilities and readiness of U.S. forces, NATO allies, and regional partners in the face of continued Russian aggression.
 
Invests in New Ways to Out-Compete China and Deepens Alliances and Partnerships in the Indo-Pacific. China is the United States’ only competitor with both the intent to reshape the international order and, increasingly, the economic, diplomatic, military, and technological power to do it. During these unprecedented and extraordinary times, the Budget requests both discretionary and mandatory resources to out-compete China and advance American prosperity globally. The mandatory proposal will strengthen the U.S. role in the Indo-Pacific, and advance the U.S. economy by investing $2 billion to create a new International Infrastructure Fund to support “hard” critical infrastructure; $2 billion to create a new equity revolving fund at the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation to support equity investments; and $2 billion to make game-changing investments in the Indo-Pacific to strengthen partner economies and support their efforts in pushing back against predatory efforts. As part of this mandatory proposal, the Budget also requests a total of $7.1 billion over the next 20 years for the Compacts of Free Association with the Freely Associated States of the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, and Palau.
 
Promotes Integrated Deterrence in the Indo-Pacific and Globally. The Budget prioritizes China as America’s pacing challenge in line with the 2022 National Defense Strategy. The Department of Defense’s 2024 Pacific Deterrence Initiative highlights $9.1 billion of targeted investments the Department is making to U.S. force posture, infrastructure, presence, and readiness as well as efforts to bolster the capacity and capabilities of U.S. allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific region.
 
Strengthens Democracy and Promotes Human Rights Globally. The Budget provides more than $3.4 billion to advance democratic governance and foster democratic renewal globally. The Budget would strengthen free and independent media, fight corruption, bolster democratic institutions, advance technology for democracy, promote gender equality and women’s civic and political participation, and defend free and fair elections and political processes.
 
Enhances Border Security and Immigration Enforcement. Strengthening border security and providing safe, lawful pathways for migration remain top priorities for the Administration. The Budget includes nearly $25 billion for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The Budget includes funds for CBP to hire an additional 350 Border Patrol Agents, $535 million for border technology at and between ports of entry, $40 million to combat fentanyl trafficking and disrupt transnational criminal organizations, and funds to hire an additional 460 processing assistants at CBP and ICE.
 
Expands Health Care, Benefits, and Services for Military Environmental Exposures. The PACT Act represents the most significant expansion of VA health care and disability compensation benefits for veterans exposed to burn pits and other environmental exposures in more than 30 years. As part of the PACT Act, the Congress authorized the Cost of War Toxic Exposures Fund (TEF) to fund increased costs above 2021 funding levels for health care and benefits delivery for veterans exposed to a number of environmental hazards—and ensure there is sufficient funding available to cover these costs without shortchanging other elements of veteran medical care and benefit delivery. The Budget provides $20.3 billion for the TEF in 2024, which is $15.3 billion above the 2023 enacted level.
 
Reducing Deficits by Nearly $3 Trillion by Making the Wealthy and Big Corporations Pay Their Fair Share and Cutting Wasteful Spending on Big Pharma, Big Oil, and Special Interests
 
After inheriting historically high deficits from the previous Administration, President Biden told the American people he would reduce the deficit, pay for his proposals, and ensure that no one making less than $400,000 a year would pay a penny more in new taxes. That’s exactly what he has done—and exactly what he will continue to do.
 
The President’s Budget builds on the record-breaking deficit reduction he achieved during his first two years in office. It more than fully pays for its investments, reduces deficits by nearly $3 trillion over the next decade by making the wealthy and big corporations pay their fair share and cutting wasteful spending on Big Pharma, Big Oil, and other special interests, and ensures that no one making less than $400,000 per year will pay a penny more in new taxes.
 
The Budget reflects the President’s ironclad belief that we need a tax system that rewards work, not wealth—and that ensures the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations don’t pay lower tax rates than teachers or firefighters. That’s in sharp contrast with Congressional Republicans, who in recent months have proposed policies that would add $3 trillion to the debt over the next decade while handing out tax giveaways to the wealthy and big corporations.
 
Building on the progress the President has already made to promote a fairer tax code, the Budget proposes additional reforms that would ensure the wealthy and corporations pay their fair share while cutting wasteful spending on Big Pharma, Big Oil, and other special interests.
 
Proposes a Minimum Tax on Billionaires. The tax code currently offers special treatment for the types of income that wealthy people enjoy. While the wages and salaries that everyday Americans earn are taxed as ordinary income, billionaires make their money in ways that are taxed at lower rates, and sometimes not taxed at all. This special treatment, combined with sophisticated tax planning and giant loopholes, allows many of the wealthiest Americans to pay lower rates on their full income than many middle-class households pay. To finally address this glaring problem, the Budget includes a 25 percent minimum tax on the wealthiest 0.01 percent.
 
Ensures Corporations Pay Their Fair Share. The Budget includes an increase to the rate that corporations pay in taxes on their profits. Corporations received an enormous tax break in 2017, cutting effective U.S. tax rates for U.S. corporations to a low of less than 10 percent. While their profits soared, their investment in the economy did not. Their shareholders and top executives reaped the benefits, without the promised trickle down to workers, consumers, or communities. The Budget would set the corporate tax rate at 28 percent, still well below the 35 percent rate that prevailed prior to the 2017 tax law. This tax rate change is complemented by other proposals to incentivize job creation and investment in the United States and ensure large corporations pay their fair share.
 
Stops the Race to the Bottom in International Corporate Tax and End Tax Breaks for Offshoring. For decades, countries have competed for multinational business by slashing tax rates, at the expense of having adequate revenues to finance core services. Thanks in part to the Administration’s leadership, more than 130 nations signed on to a global tax framework to finally address this race to the bottom. Building on that framework, the Budget proposes to reform the international tax system to reduce the incentives to book profits in low-tax jurisdictions, stop corporate inversions to tax havens, and raise the tax rate on U.S. multinationals’ foreign earnings from 10.5 percent to 21 percent. These reforms will ensure that profitable multinational corporations pay their fair share.
 
Quadruples the Stock Buybacks Tax. Last year, the President signed into law a surcharge on corporate stock buybacks, which reduces the differential tax treatment between buybacks and dividends and encourages businesses to invest and grow as opposed to funneling tax-preferred profits to foreign shareholders. The Budget proposes quadrupling the stock buybacks tax from one percent to four percent to address the continued tax advantage for buybacks and encourage corporations to invest in productivity and the broader economy.
 
Repeals Trump Tax Cuts for the Wealthy and Reform Capital Gains Tax to Ensure the Wealthy Pay Their Fair Share. The 2017 tax law lowered rates for the wealthiest Americans, delivering massive tax cuts to the top one percent. The Budget repeals the Trump tax cuts for the highest-income Americans, restoring the top tax rate of 39.6 percent for single filers making more than $400,000 a year and married couples making more than $450,000 per year. It also proposes taxing capital gains at the same rate as wage income for those with more than $1 million in income and finally closes the carried interest loophole that allows some wealthy investment fund managers to pay tax at lower rates than their secretaries.
 
Cuts Wasteful Spending on Big Pharma, Big Oil, and Other Special Interests, Combats Fraud, and Makes Programs More Efficient. The Budget puts forward reforms that cut wasteful spending on Big Pharma, Big Oil, and other special interests, crack down on fraud, and strengthen program integrity—saving taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars. For example, the Budget cuts Federal spending by $160 billion—and saves billions of dollars for seniors—by increasing the number of drugs Medicare can select for negotiation and bringing more drugs into the negotiation process sooner, building on the Inflation Reduction Act’s reforms. It also includes a package of reforms to crack down on systemic fraud—combatting identity theft and other fraud in Unemployment Insurance, increasing funding for the Anti-Pandemic Fraud Strike Force, and investing in Inspectors General.

Congressional Republicans Push to Repeal the Affordable Care Act and Slashing Medicaid – Here’s How You Would Be Impacted if They Succeed

The White House is piercing the secrecy, backroom plans of Congressional Republicans to yet again, repeal the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and slash Medicaid, under the guise of “balancing the budget”. Instead, the Republicans’ agenda would add $3 trillion to the national debt while leaving hundreds of millions living with the anxiety and insecurity of being without access to health care or destroyed by medical debt © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

The White House is piercing the secrecy, backroom plans of Congressional Republicans to yet again, repeal the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and slash Medicaid, under the guise of “balancing the budget”. Instead, the Republicans’ agenda would add $3 trillion to the national debt while leaving hundreds of millions living with the anxiety and insecurity of being without access to health care or destroyed by medical debt. The Republicans’ policy goes against the grain of Americans who overwhelmingly support Obamacare, which has delivered record numbers of Americans who have health insurance. Repealing the ACA would thrust millions into the life-and-death insecurity of not having health insurance at all or finding health insurance unaffordable, the 100 million people who have “pre-existing conditions” (now likely 200 million because of COVID), also being uninsurable by the for-profit insurance industry. Likewise, slashing Medicaid would not only leave millions, including millions of children, without health care, but result in more hospitals shutting down. This fact sheet from the White House is issued in advance of President Joe Biden’s remarks from Virginia Beach:–Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Speaker McCarthy and congressional Republicans have committed to balance the budget while adding $3 trillion or more to the deficit through tax cuts skewed to the wealthy and large corporations. As a matter of simple math, that requires trillions in program cuts. Congressional Republicans have yet to disclose to the American people where these cuts will come from. But past Republican legislationbudgets, and litigation, along with recent statementsproposals, and budget plans, provide clear evidence that health care will be on the chopping block for severe cuts.
 
Virtually every Republican budget or fiscal plan over the last decade has included repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and deep cuts to Medicaid. That would mean: higher health care costs for tens of millions of Americans; ending critical protections for people with pre-existing conditions; millions of people losing health coverage and care; and threats to health care for seniors and people with disabilities, including growing home care waiting lists and worse nursing home care.
 
The American people deserve to see congressional Republicans’ full and detailed budget plan, including what it cuts from the ACA and Medicaid, Social Security and Medicare, and other critical programs, and should have the chance to compare it with the President’s budget plan, which he will release March 9.
 
If Republicans are successful in repealing the Affordable Care Act and making deep cuts to Medicaid:
 
Millions of Americans Will Have Higher Health Care Costs

  • More than 100 million people with pre-existing health conditions could lose critical protections. Before the ACA, more than 100 million Americans with pre-existing health conditions could have been denied coverage or charged more if they tried to buy individual market health insurance. Republican repeal proposals either eliminate these protections outright or find other ways to gut them.
     
  • Up to 24 million people could lose protection against catastrophic medical bills. Before the ACA, insurance plans were not required to limit enrollees’ total costs, and almost one in five people with employer coverage had no limit on out-of-pocket costs, meaning they were exposed to tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills if they became seriously ill.
     
  • Tens of millions of people could be at risk of lifetime benefit caps. Prior to the ACA, 105 million Americans, mostly people with employer coverage, had a lifetime limit on their health insurance benefits, and every year up to 20,000 people hit that cap and saw their benefits exhausted just when they needed them most.
     
  • Millions of people could lose free preventive care. The ACA requires private health insurers to cover preventive services, like cancer screenings, cholesterol tests, annual check-ups, and contraceptive services, at no cost. Before these requirements were in place, millions of Americans with health insurance faced cost sharing – sometimes high costs – for these services, which is part of why the ACA resulted in increased use of critical preventive care.
     
  • Over $1,000 average increase in medical debt for millions covered through Medicaid expansion. Repealing the ACA, in particular the expansion of Medicaid to low-income adults, would reverse major gains in financial security. Within the first two years of the ACA’s expansion of Medicaid, medical debt sent to collection agencies dropped by $3.4 billion, and there were 50,000 fewer medical bankruptcies. Among people gaining coverage through expansion, medical debt fell by an average of over $1,000. Expansion states also saw significant drops in evictions compared to non-expansion states.
     
  • Tens of millions of people could see their prescription drug coverage scaled back. Prescription drug coverage is an optional benefit under Medicaid. If states faced large cuts to their federal Medicaid funding, millions of Medicaid enrollees could see their coverage scaled back or have a harder time getting their prescriptions because of extra red tape.

 Millions of Americans Will Lose Their Health Insurance

  • 40 million people’s health insurance coverage would be at risk. Over 16 million people have signed up for ACA marketplace coverage for 2023, over 22 million people are enrolled in Medicaid expansion coverage available due to the ACA, and another 1 million people have coverage through the ACA’s Basic Health Program. The total number of people with some form of ACA coverage has risen significantly since 2017, when the Congressional Budget Office estimated the House-passed repeal bill would grow the ranks of the uninsured by 23 million.
     
  • An additional 69 million people with Medicaid could lose critical services, or could even lose coverage altogether. Slashing federal funding for Medicaid would force states to make Medicaid eligibility changes that would make it harder to qualify for and enroll in Medicaid coverage. States would also likely consider capping or limiting enrollment, cut critical services, and cut payments rates, making it harder for people with Medicaid to access care.
     
  • Thousands more preventable deaths each year. The ACA Medicaid expansion is preventing thousands of premature deaths among older adults each year, research finds, likely because it improves access to care, including medications to control chronic conditions and preventive care such as cancer screenings. ACA marketplace coverage also prevents premature deaths.

 Worse Care for Seniors and People With Disabilities

  • Over 7 million seniors and people with disabilities could receive worse home care, with ballooning wait lists for those still in need. The number of people on home care wait lists has dropped by 20 percent since 2018. This progress would likely be reversed under a block grant or per-capita cap because there would be fewer dollars available for home care services, an optional benefit in Medicaid. Faced with large federal funding cuts, states would almost certainly ration care. That would likely mean wait lists for home care in the 13 states and DC that don’t currently have them, and skyrocketing wait lists in 37 states that do.
     
  • Hundreds of thousands of nursing home residents would be at risk of lower quality of care. Over 60 percent of nursing home residents are covered by Medicaid. With large cuts in federal funding, states would be forced to cut nursing home rates to manage their costs, as many states have done during recessions. Research shows that when nursing homes are paid less, residents get worse care.

Millions of People Will Lose Access to Opioid Treatment and Mental Health Care

  • Millions of people could lose access to substance use treatment or mental health care. Across the country, the ACA, especially its expansion of Medicaid, has dramatically expanded access to opioid treatment and other substance use disorder care, including increases in medication assisted treatment prescriptions for opioid and other substance use treatment and improved access to mental health care.
     
  • 34 million children at risk of losing guaranteed access to mental health care. Past Republican plans proposed ending Medicaid’s guarantee of comprehensive health coverage for children. This would jeopardize children’s access to mental health care at a critical point in efforts to address the burgeoning youth mental health crisis. It would also cause children to go without other services, like annual check-ups and speech and physical therapy. And Republican proposals could endanger schools’ ability to bill Medicaid for mental health care, speech therapy, or physical therapy for students.

 Rural Hospitals Would Be Forced to Close

  • More of the over 500 rural hospitals at risk of closure could close. The ACA, especially its expansion of Medicaid, helped cut hospital uncompensated care by about $12 billion, helping hospitals, especially rural hospitals, stay afloat. Between 2010 and 2021, nearly three-fourths of rural hospital closures were in states that have not adopted Medicaid expansion, with research finding that expansion disproportionately improved rural hospital margins and helped avert rural hospital closures. If the ACA is repealed, and millions lose coverage, closures among at-risk hospitals could increase significantly.

Separate from all these quantifiable harms, Republican ACA and Medicaid plans propose abrupt, unprecedented upheaval, with consequences for the entire health care system. In 2017, patient groupsphysicianshospitalsinsurersinsurance regulatorshealth care experts, and governors from both parties all expressed alarm that ACA repeals could have far-reaching consequences for the stability of health insurance markets and availability of affordable coverage and care.

House Republicans commit to radical ultra MAGA budget that takes health care from millions and increases costs:

Confirming President Biden’s warning that House Republicans are threatening to cause an unforced economic catastrophe unless they can make disastrous cuts that increase millions of American’s health care costs, the top House Republican on the Budget Committee now says outright that they are using a ultra MAGA plan to do just that.

House Budget Chairman Jodey Arrington says Republicans are modeling their budget off of a hard right proposal from former Trump OMB Director Russell Vought – a plan that calls for draconian cuts to the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid. This would deprive countless Americans of their health coverage, make the costs of health care skyrocket cross the board, cause a spike in the price of prescription drugs, and devastate rural hospitals.  

What sacrifices does Vought’s budget ask of rich special interests? None. And House Republicans simultaneously back enormous tax giveaways to the wealthy that economists warn would aggravate inflation.  

President Biden and the American people want to go in the opposite direction, building on the historic deficit reduction he has led by having the rich and big corporations pay their fair share and reduce the deficit by a further $2 trillion.

“In their own words, Congressional Republicans keep proving President’s Biden’s warnings to the middle class right,” said White House spokesperson Andrew Bates. “The House Republican leading their budget process now admits that the foundation of their approach will be a radical, ultra MAGA plan that takes health coverage away from millions of middle class families, causes health care and prescription drug costs to skyrocket, and devastates rural hospitals. And they’re threatening to intentionally plunge our economy into chaos and kill millions of jobs and businesses if they don’t get their way. Meanwhile, Republicans are pushing exorbitant tax welfare for rich special interests that would increase the deficit and worsen inflation. This is the definition of trying to force our economy to work from the top-down, when they should be joining with President Biden to keep rebuilding the American middle class.”  

Dueling Economic Agendas: Biden, Democrats Blast Republicans

During the State of the Union address, President Joe Biden laid out a plan to continue to grow the economy in a stable, sustainable way, so that all Americans could benefit. Republicans, meanwhile, are intent on policies that would add $3 trillion to the national debt while hurting seniors, the middle class, working families. © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com via MSNBC.

Further evidence that President Joe Biden’s economic plan – essentially building the economy from the bottom up and the middle out, and creating longterm, sustainable, stable growth – is working. Despite the manufactured hysteria over inflation and impending recession, the data shows otherwise – in terms of record 12 million jobs created, lowest unemployment in 50 years, real increase in wages.

Biden is also able to show progress in slowing inflation – which has been much more crippling throughout the world – and has been able to demonstrate that while his economic policies will address the national debt (a record reduction in the budget deficit), Republicans’ agenda would worsen the national debt (largely caused by the Trump/GOP tax plan that reduced taxes on the wealthiest individuals and corporations, and which added $7.4 trillion, or 25% of the national debt, in the four-year term). The Republican plan would actually add $3 trillion MORE to the national debt.

President Biden, commenting on the January CPI Report, said:

“Inflation in America is continuing to come down, which is good news for families and businesses across the country. Today’s data confirm that annual inflation has fallen for seven straight months. Inflation for food at the grocery store came down again last month. Gas prices are down about $1.60 from their peak last year. And real wages for working Americans are up over the last seven months, delivering welcome breathing room for American families. We are seeing this progress even as unemployment remains at its lowest level since 1969 and job growth remains resilient.”  
 
“There is still more work to do as we make this transition to more steady, stable growth, and there could be setbacks along the way. That is why my unwavering focus is on continuing to lower costs for families, rebuild our supply chains, and invest in America. Right now, because of the Inflation Reduction Act we passed last year, we are lowering prescription drug costs, health care costs, and home energy costs for tens of millions of Americans all while lowering our deficits. My administration is eliminating junk fees which make it harder for American families to make ends meet at the end of the month. And we are creating manufacturing jobs all across the country, which will lower costs and rebuild our supply chains.”
 
“Unfortunately, many of my Republican friends in Congress seem intent on taking us in the opposite direction. They have proposed repealing the Inflation Reduction Act, which would make inflation worse, shower billions of dollars on Big Pharma, and increase the deficit. They are threatening to raise costs for seniors by threatening to cut Medicare and Social Security, and other critical programs that American seniors and families count on. And some are threatening to default on the full faith and credit of the U.S., which would raise costs and create economic chaos. I will stand firmly against any effort to make inflation worse and increase costs for families. Today’s data reinforces that we have made historic progress and are on the right track, and now we need to finish the job. “

The Congressional Republican Agenda to Increase the Debt by Over $3 Trillion

Congressional Republican leaders insist that the national debt is among our nation’s greatest challenges, and reducing it is among their highest priorities. In fact, they claim that reducing the debt is so urgent it warrants endangering the entire U.S. economy through debt limit brinksmanship. But their legislative agenda to date points in a very different direction—with proposals that would increase the debt by over $3 trillion.

  • The first bill passed by the new Republican House majority increased the debt by $114 billion by allowing wealthy people and corporations to continue to cheat on their taxes.
     
  • Congressional Republicans proposed repealing—and are even running ads attacking—reforms President Biden signed to lower prescription drug costs. Repealing these policies would increase the amount of money Medicare pays Big Pharma, raise costs for seniors, and add $159 billion to the debt.
     
  • House Republicans have advocated and proposed repealing tax increases on large corporations that President Biden has signed into law, adding $296 billion to the debt.
     
  • House Republican leaders have also committed to extend the expiring Trump tax cuts, a $2.7 trillion debt increase that would give the top 0.1% (with incomes over $4 million per year) a $175,000 annual tax cut, over 2.5 times a typical family’s annual income.

Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform, exposed the political logic of Congressional Republicans’ fiscal hypocrisy. He told Republicans their focus should be “not the deficit” after all: it’s to shift public discussion to cutting spending, paving the way for more tax cuts for the wealthy.

That trickle-down economic theory has never worked. President Trump and President Bush’s tax cuts added trillions to the debt and failed to deliver their promised benefits for the economy or American workers. And taking revenues—and even savings from cutting corporate subsidies—off the table means Congressional Republicans consistently propose deep cuts to programs seniors and middle-class and working families count on.

That’s why the American people deserve to see Congressional Republicans’ full and detailed budget plan and compare it with the President’s Budget plan to invest in America, bring down costs for families, protect and strengthen Social Security and Medicare, and reduce the deficit, which he will release March 9.

Congressional Republicans’ Commitment to Debt Increases

The fiscal consequences of the debt increases Congressional Republicans have put at the top of their agenda are stark. After a decade, these policies, if enacted, would add over $3 trillion to the debt (accounting for debt service costs), increasing debt as a share of the economy by almost 10 percentage points.
Congressional Republicans’ debt increases include:

The Tax Cheats Protection Act: House Republicans’ first bill in the new Congress would add $114 billion to the Federal debt by repealing President Biden’s legislation that cracks down on wealthy tax cheats. While working people pay 99% of taxes on their income from wages and salaries, the top 1% hides about 20% of their income from tax, including by funneling it through offshore accounts and tax havens that do not report earnings. President Biden passed a law to make our tax system fairer by cracking down on wealthy tax cheats, while protecting middle-class taxpayers and small businesses and improving taxpayer service. But 221 House Republicans voted to enable tax fraud by wealthy Americans and large corporations.

Increase Spending With a Handout to Big Pharma: House Republicans have introduced a bill to repeal the entire Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), including the reforms President Biden signed into law to lower prescription drug costs. Congressional Republicans and Big Pharma have launched a concerted attack on the IRA’s prescription drug reforms, advocating to increase both Federal spending and seniors’ costs to increase Big Pharma’s profits. Thanks to the new prescription drug law, Medicare will finally be able to negotiate drug prices, and drug companies will pay rebates to Medicare if they try to hike their prices faster than the rate of inflation. Congressional Republicans want to repeal these policies, giving a $159 billion handout to Big Pharma, raising costs for seniors, and driving up the Federal debt.

Enrich Multi-Billion Dollar Corporations: In 2020, 55 of the largest, most profitable corporations paid $0 in taxes. The President signed into law legislation to level the playing field for companies and small businesses that are already paying their fair share in taxes. Under his corporate minimum tax, the largest, most profitable corporations—those with over $1 billion in profits—have to pay a 15% minimum tax on the profits they report to their shareholders. But House Republicans—through their Inflation Reduction Act repeal bill and other statements—have made clear that they want to enrich large corporations that don’t pay their fair share. That would add $222 billion to the debt.

Increase the Tax Subsidy for Stock Buybacks: President Biden signed into law a surcharge on corporate stock buybacks, which reduces the differential tax treatment between buybacks and dividends and encourages businesses to invest in their growth and productivity as opposed to paying out corporate executives or funneling tax-preferred profits to foreign shareholdersThe President in his State of the Union address proposed quadrupling the stock buybacks tax to 4% to address the continued tax advantage for buybacks and encourage long-term investment over giveaways to executives. House Republicans instead want to repeal the stock buybacks tax and let corporations continue to funnel tax-preferred profits to shareholders instead of investing in productivity and the broader economy. That would add $74 billion to the Federal debt.

Extend President Trump’s Unpaid-for Tax Giveaway to the Wealthy and Large Corporations: President Trump and Congressional Republicans deliberately sunset portions of their tax giveaway to the wealthy and large corporations. They did this to conceal how much their plan added to the debt as well as how large the tax breaks were for multi-millionaires and large corporations. Now, House Republican Leadership has made clear that extending President Trump’s tax giveaway to the wealthy and large corporations is one of their top priorities. An analysis by the Tax Policy Center found that doing so would mean an average tax cut of $175,000 for the top 0.1%—Americans making more than $4 million per year. That average tax cut is more than 2.5 times a typical family’s annual income. Meanwhile, extending the expiring Trump tax cuts would add $2.7 trillion to the Federal debt over 10 years.

The President supports a fiscally responsible approach to continuing current tax policies for people making less than $400,000 per year, and opposes any tax increase for this group. Meanwhile, Congressional Republicans—including the more than three quarters of them who are signatories to Grover Norquist’s tax pledge—have made clear they will oppose paying for middle-class tax cuts by raising taxes on the wealthy and large corporations.

Even Without a Budget, Congressional Republicans Are Already Showing Who Will Pay the Price

The proposals Congressional Republicans have put forward show that, even as they commit to massive tax cuts for the wealthy and large corporations, they are more than ready to raise taxes on middle-class and working families. The House Republican IRA repeal bill would cut premium tax credits that are helping an estimated 14.5 million people pay for health insurance. And the House Budget Committee last week doubled down on eliminating Affordable Care Act premium tax credits for middle-income people with high health insurance premiums: a tax increase of $7,600 per year for a typical 62-year old earning $55,000.

In addition, some Congressional Republicans continue to push a national retail sales tax bill that would repeal most existing taxes and impose a new 30% sales tax on American families. The legislation would increase debt by trillions—and cut taxes for a couple making a million dollars a year by more than $200,000—and at the same time would raise taxes by at least $7,000 for a retired couple with $60,000 in Social Security income and at least $6,000 for a single mom making $38,000, a recent analysis found.

The bottom line is: having committed to over $3 trillion in debt increases and also insisted they are committed to reducing the debt, Congressional Republicans owe the American public a complete and transparent accounting of who will foot the bill. Will it be middle-class and working families, seniors, students, or all of the above? 

House Republican agenda amounts to a death panel for Medicare and Social Security:

The contrast in agendas for America between President Joe Biden and the Democrats and the Congressional Republicans could not be more stark.

While President Biden, in his State of the Union address, described his plans for building on the historic job creation he has achieved, making more progress against inflation, reducing the deficit by making the wealthy and big corporations pay their fair share, and protecting Medicare and Social Security benefits from cuts, in contrast, House Republicans opened the week by announcing the latest in a long succession of attempts to undermine Medicare and Social Security.

Bloomberg reports that as part of a ransom demand for not triggering a financial meltdown, top House Republicans want an agreement that both earned benefits programs are put on track for cuts.

As The Washington Post reported in late January, House Republicans have continuously pressed for slashing Medicare and Social Security benefits in exchange for not actively harming the American economy with the first debt default in our history.  

House Republicans have repeatedly indicated they would do so in the new Congress, and on the campaign trail.

Republicans have also introduced legislation to repeal the Inflation Reduction Act, which would be one of the biggest Medicare benefit cuts in history, depriving seniors of lower insulin costs, the $2,000 cap on out of pocket expenses for prescription drugs, and Medicare’s new ability to negotiate lower drug costs.

Today’s news is even more confirmation that House Republicans are taking direct aim at programs that are critical to the middle class, even as they vote for tax giveaways to the rich that would manage to increase taxes on working families while raising the deficit at the same time, the White House stated.

“With the President poised to announce new plans to keep making our economy works from the bottom up and the middle out – not the top down – House Republicans are dead-set on the opposite,” said White House spokesperson Andrew Bates. “They’re opening the week unveiling their latest in a long line of ultimatums about how they’ll act to kill jobs, businesses, and retirement accounts if they can’t cut Medicare and Social Security benefits. Meanwhile, they’re voting to worsen the deficit with tax welfare for the rich and big corporations. Think about that: they’re targeting the Medicare and Social Security benefits that middle class families pay in to earn their whole lives, then turning around and giving tax handouts to big corporations. The American people want more jobs and lower costs, not a death panel for Medicare and Social Security.” 

“While President Biden shows the American people his plan to build on the unprecedented deficit reduction his leadership has already delivered, by having the richest taxpayers and big corporations pay their fair share and lowering prescription drug prices, House Republicans’ only plan is to make the deficit skyrocket by over $3 trillion with unaffordable tax giveaways to wealthy special interests,” stated White House spokesperson Andrew Bates. “They’ve even proposed raiding Medicare so that the ultra-rich can enjoy new tax welfare. Meanwhile, House Republicans are threatening to actively throw our economy into a tailspin with a default – which they have a non-negotiable, Constitutional duty to prevent – unless they can further cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. It’s utterly backwards. The President is delivering on his commitment to build an economy that grows from the bottom up and the middle out – not from the top down. The House GOP seems determined to pull the American economy in the opposite direction, increasing taxes on working families while giving $3 trillion in new handouts for the rich.”

The chart below is based on the record:

Policy10-Year Deficit Increase
Republican House-passed bill to make it easier for billionaires to cheat on their taxes$114 billion
Republican Proposals to repeal Inflation Reduction Act’s prescription drug savings, which will raise costs for seniors and Medicare and increase federal spending$159 billion
Republican Proposals to repeal the Inflation Reduction Act’s 15% minimum tax on corporations with profits over $1 billion$222 billion
Republican Proposals to extend the Trump tax cuts: an average tax cut of $175,000 for the top 0.1%$2.7 trillion
Deficit increases from Republican proposals to dateOver $3 trillion

Congressional Republicans keep calling for earned benefits on the one hand, but more tax giveaways for the rich on the other

After President Biden put Republicans on the defensive over their long-public intentions to slash Medicare and Social Security benefits, a continuing list of congressional Republicans ranging from Ron Johnson last week to Senator Mike Rounds yesterday, keep proving his point.

Whether it’s a large number of House Republicans and Rick Scott pushing to repeal the Inflation Reduction Act in what would be one of the worst Medicare benefit cuts of all time, or the Republican Study Committee proposing benefit cuts and the privatization of Social Security of last year, the receipts are undeniable. For months, congressional Republicans have indicated they would even use the threat of a catastrophic default to cut Medicare and Social Security benefits.

Republicans in Congress justify these intentions under the guise of fiscal responsibility. However, at the same time, they are advocating for enormous tax giveaways to rich special interests that, combined, would add over $3 trillion to the debt. Those two positions are irreconcilable.

The first vote the Republican-controlled House took was to help wealthy individuals and multinational corporations worsen inflation by cheating on their taxes. They broadly support renewing the Trump tax giveaways for the rich. And in addition to being a Medicare benefit cut, repealing the Inflation Reduction Act would at the same time be more tax welfare for the rich and a giant windfall for Big Pharma. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.  

“It’s irreconcilable to support Medicare and Social Security benefit cuts in the name of supposed ‘fiscal responsibility,’ while at the same time adding $3 trillion to the national debt with a seemingly endless gravy train for rich special interests,” said White House spokesperson Andrew Bates. “Prioritizing tax giveaways for the wealthy and specific handouts for Big Pharma over the Medicare and Social Security benefits that middle class families pay to earn throughout their lives is a recipe for making our economy work from the top-down. The last thing that Americans who’ve felt invisible want is cuts to lifeline programs in exchange for permanent trickle-down economics.”

Biden: ‘Budgets are statements of values. This budget values fiscal responsibility, safety, security, investments in equitable growth and to build a better America’

What’s in the Biden FY2023 Budget

President Biden presents his FY2023 budget: “Budgets are statements of values, and the budget I am releasing today sends a clear message that we value fiscal responsibility, safety and security at home and around the world, and the investments needed to continue our equitable growth and build a better America.” © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com via c-span

This is President Joe Biden’s statement about his FY2023 budget proposal:

Budgets are statements of values, and the budget I am releasing today sends a clear message that we value fiscal responsibility, safety and security at home and around the world, and the investments needed to continue our equitable growth and build a better America.

My Administration is on track to reduce the federal deficit by more than $1.3 trillion this year, cutting in half the deficit from the last year of the previous Administration and delivering the largest one-year reduction in the deficit in U.S. history. That’s the direct result of my Administration’s strategy to get the pandemic under control and grow the economy from the bottom up and the middle out. We spent less money than the last Administration and got better results: strong economic growth, which has increased revenues and allowed us to responsibly scale back emergency spending. My budget will continue that progress, further reducing the deficit by continuing to support the economic growth that has increased revenues and ensuring that billionaires and large corporations pay their fair share.

At the same time, my budget will make investments in securing our nation and building a better America. We will secure our communities by putting more police on the street to engage in accountable community policing, hiring the agents needed to help fight gun crime, and investing in crime prevention and community violence intervention.

I’m calling for one of the largest investments in our national security in history, with the funds needed to ensure that our military remains the best-prepared, best-trained, best-equipped military in the world.  In addition, I’m calling for continued investment to forcefully respond to Putin’s aggression against Ukraine with US support for Ukraine’s economic, humanitarian, and security needs. 

My budget also makes the investments needed to reduce costs for families and make progress on my Unity Agenda – including investments to cut the costs of child care and health care; help families pay for other essentials; end cancer as we know it; support our veterans; and get all Americans the mental health services they need.

All told, it is a budget that includes historic deficit reduction, historic investments in our security at home and abroad, and an unprecedented commitment to building an economy where everyone has a chance to succeed.

And here’s what in the Biden budget:

FACT SHEET:
The President’s Budget for Fiscal Year 2023

Under the President’s leadership, America is on the move again. We created more than 6.5 million jobs in 2021, the most our country has ever recorded in a single year. Our economy grew at 5.7 percent, the strongest growth in nearly 40 years. And the unemployment rate has fallen to 3.8 percent, the fastest decline in recorded history. At the same time, the deficit fell last year—by around $300 billion. This progress was a direct result of the President’s strategy to grow the economy from the bottom up and the middle out and his effective management of the American Rescue Plan—a strategy that was built on smart, fiscally prudent investments that helped jumpstart our economy.
 
As our historic economic and labor market recovery continues, the President’s Budget projects that the deficit in 2022 will be more than $1.3 trillion lower than last year’s—the largest ever one-year decline in our country’s history. The strongest economic growth in four decades, powered by the American Rescue Plan, has also contributed to a historic decline in the deficit—by fueling strong revenue growth and allowing the Administration to responsibly phase down emergency pandemic-related spending.
 
Today, the President released a Budget that details his vision to expand on our economic and fiscal progress—investing in our economy and our people while cutting deficits, improving our country’s long-term fiscal outlook, and keeping the economic burden of debt low.
 
As he made clear in his State of the Union address, the President is committed to working with Congress to enact legislation that lowers costs for American families, expands the productive capacity of the American economy, and further reduces the deficit: by reducing prescription drug costs and fixing the tax code to ensure corporations and wealthy people pay the taxes they already owe and close loopholes they exploit.
 
The President’s FY 2023 Budget also proposes additional smart, targeted investments designed to spur durable economic growth, create jobs, reduce cost pressures, and foster shared prosperity. These investments are more than fully paid-for through tax reforms that ensure corporations and the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share, while also fulfilling the President’s ironclad promise that no one earning less than $400,000 per year will pay an additional penny in new taxes. Overall, the Budget reduces deficits by more than $1 trillion over the next 10 years and deficits under the Budget policies would fall to less than one-third of the 2020 level the President inherited.
 
The Budget improves our country’s long-term fiscal outlook while also delivering on the ambitious agenda the President laid out in his State of the Union address—to build a better America, reduce costs for families, advance equity, and grow our economy from the bottom up and the middle out. It proposes significant new investments in proven strategies to reduce gun crime and keep our communities safe. It makes additional investments in the American people that will help lay a stronger foundation for shared growth and prosperity. It advances a bipartisan unity agenda through proposals to take on the mental health crisis, combat the opioid epidemic, support our veterans, and accelerate progress against cancer. And during what will be a decisive decade, it strengthens our military and leverages America’s renewed strength at home to meet pressing global challenges, deepen partnerships and alliances, and manage crises as they arise.
 
PUTTING THE NATION ON A SOUND FISCAL AND ECONOMIC COURSE
 
The Budget proposes smart, targeted, fully-offset investments while also cutting deficits, improving our country’s long-term fiscal outlook, and keeping the economic burden of debt low. The Budget’s investments are more than paid for with tax reforms focused on making sure the rich and the largest corporations pay their fair share, reducing deficits by over $1 trillion over the next 10 years.
 

  • Proposes a New Minimum Tax on Billionaires. The tax code currently offers special treatment for the types of income that wealthy people enjoy. This special treatment, combined with sophisticated tax planning and giant loopholes, allows many of the very wealthiest people in the world to end up paying a lower tax rate on their full income than many middle-class households. To finally address this glaring problem, the Budget includes a minimum tax on multi-millionaires and billionaires who so often pay indefensibly low tax rates. This minimum tax would apply only to the wealthiest 0.01 percent of households—those with more than $100 million—and over half the revenue would come from billionaires alone. It would ensure that, in any given year, they pay at least 20 percent of their total income in Federal income taxes.
  • Ensures Corporations Pay Their Fair Share. The Budget also includes an increase to the rate that corporations pay in taxes on their profits. Corporations received an enormous tax break in 2017. While their profits have soared, their investment in our economy did not: the tax breaks did not trickle down to workers or consumers. Instead of allowing some of the most profitable corporations in the world to avoid paying their fair share, the Budget raises the corporate tax rate to 28 percent, still the lowest tax rate faced by corporations since World War II except in the years after the 2017 tax cut. This increase is complemented by other changes to the corporate tax code that incentivize job creation and investment in the United States and ensure that large corporations pay their fair share.
  • Prevents Multinational Corporations from Using Tax Havens to Game the System. For decades, American workers and taxpayers have paid the price for a tax system that has rewarded multinational corporations for shipping jobs and profits overseas. Last year, the Administration rallied more than 130 countries to agree to a global minimum tax that will ensure that profitable corporations pay their fair share and will incentivize U.S. multinationals to create jobs and invest in the United States. The Budget contains additional measures to ensure that multinationals operating in the United States cannot use tax havens to undercut the global minimum tax.

 
Advancing Legislation to Lower Costs, Reduce the Deficit, and Expand Productive Capacity
 
The President is committed to working with Congress to sign legislation that lowers costs for American families, reduces the deficit, and expands the productive capacity of the American economy. That means cutting costs for prescription drugs, healthcare premiums, child care, long-term care, housing, and college; reducing energy costs by combatting climate change and accelerating the transition to a clean energy economy; supporting families by providing access to free, high-quality preschool, up to two years of free community college, nutritious food at school and resources to purchase food over the summer months, and paid family and medical leave and by continuing the enhanced Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit; and providing health coverage to millions of uninsured Americans. The President believes these proposals must be paired with reforms that ensure corporations and the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share, including ensuring that they pay the taxes they already owe.
 
Because discussions with Congress continue, the President’s Budget includes a deficit neutral reserve fund to account for a future agreement, preserving the revenue from tax and prescription drug reforms the President proposed last year for this legislation for the investments needed to bring down costs for American families and expand our productive capacity.
 
BUILDING A BETTER AMERICA
 
The Budget includes smart, targeted investments in the American people that will help build a better America. It will keep our communities safe and combat violent crime; promote job creation and expand the productive capacity of our economy; improve our public health infrastructure; ensure America leads the world in combating the climate crisis; and advance equity and opportunity for all. It strengthens our military and leverages America’s renewed strength at home to meet pressing global challenges, deepen partnerships and alliances, and manage crises as they arise.
 
Combating Crime to Keep Our Communities Safe
 

  • Puts More Police Officers on the Beat. The Budget provides $3.2 billion in discretionary resources for State and local grants, and $30 billion in mandatory re­sources to support law enforcement, crime preven­tion, and community violence intervention, including putting more officers for community policing on the beat across the Nation.
  • Provides More Tools to Tackle Gun Violence. The Budget provides $1.7 billion for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) to expand multijurisdictional gun trafficking strike forces with additional personnel, increase regulation of the firearms industry, enhance ATF’s National Integrated Ballistic Information Network, and modernize the National Tracing Center.
  • Increases Federal Law Enforcement Capacity to Combat Violent Crime. Under the President’s Budget, key Federal law enforcement agencies like the FBI and U.S. Marshals Service will have the resources they need fight violent crime, including through fugitive apprehension and enforcement operations. The Budget also ensures U.S. Attorneys have the necessary support to prosecute violent crimes.
  • Strengthens Civil Rights Enforcement. The Budget makes important investments to support law enforcement while addressing longstanding inequities and strengthening civil rights protections. The Budget invests $367 million, an increase of $101 million over the 2021 enacted level, at the Department of Justice to support police reform, the prosecution of hate crimes, enforcement of voting rights, and efforts to provide equitable access to justice.
  • Supports Criminal Justice System Reform. The Budget includes $100 million for a historic multi-agency collaboration to provide comprehensive workforce development services to people in the Federal prison system and proposes $106 million to support the deployment of body-worn cameras to DOJ’s law enforcement officers.

 
Promoting Job Creation, Reducing Cost Pressures, and Boosting Productive Capacity
 

  • Increases Affordable Housing Supply. In communities throughout the country, rents are skyrocketing and homeownership is becoming increasingly out of reach. This strains family budgets and holds back our economy – making it harder for workers to afford to live near good jobs and good transportation options. To address the critical shortage of affordable housing in communities throughout the Nation, the Budget proposes $50 billion for housing construction and supply – addressing existing market gaps and helping to stabilize housing prices over the long-term. This includes funding, via the Department of Housing and Urban Development, for state and local housing finance agencies and their partners to provide grants, revolving loan funds, and other streamlined financing tools to boost housing supply, with a particular focus on housing types that have traditionally been difficult to finance using existing Federal financing but have the potential to boost supply and density in supply-constrained communities. The Budget also includes grants to advance and reward state and local jurisdictions’ efforts to remove barriers to affordable housing development. It also includes modifying Low-Income Housing Tax Credits to better incentivize new unit production, and funding for the Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund to support financing of new construction and substantial rehabilitation that creates net new units of affordable rental and for sale housing.
     
  • Accelerates Efforts to Move More Goods Faster through American Ports and Waterways. The Budget continues support for the historic levels of Federal investment to modernize America’s port and waterway infrastructure provided under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. It includes $230 million for the Port Infrastructure Development Program to strengthen maritime freight capacity, as well as $1.7 billion in spending for the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund to facilitate safe, reliable, and environmentally sustainable navigation at coastal ports. 
  • Strengthens the Nation’s Supply Chains through Domestic Manufacturing. To help ignite a resurgence of American manufacturing and strengthen domestic supply chains, the Budget provides $372 million, an increase of $206 million over the 2021 enacted level, for the National Institutes of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) manufacturing programs to launch two additional Manufacturing Innovation Institutes in 2023 and continue support for the two institutes funded in 2022. The Budget includes a $125 million increase for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership to make America’s small and medium manufacturers more competitive. The Budget also invests $200 million for a new Solar Manufacturing to build domestic capacity in solar energy supply chains while moving away from imported products.
  • Expands Access to Registered Apprenticeships and Equips Workers with Skills They Need to Obtain High-Quality Jobs. The Budget invests $303 million, a $118 million increase above the 2021 enacted level, to expand Registered Apprenticeship opportunities in high growth fields, such as information technology, advanced manufacturing, health care, and transportation, while increasing access for historically underrepresented groups, including people of color and women. In addition, the Budget invests $100 million to help community colleges work with the public workforce development system and employers to design and deliver high-quality workforce training programs. The Budget also provides $100 million for a new Sectoral Employment through Career Training for Occupational Readiness program, which will support training programs focused on growing industries, enabling disadvantaged workers to enter on-ramps to middle class jobs, and creating the skilled workforce the economy needs to thrive.
  • Fosters Competitive and Productive Markets and Targets Corporate Concentration. The Budget reflects the Administration’s commitment to vigorous marketplace competition through robust enforcement of antitrust law by including historic increases of $88 million for the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice (ATR) and $139 million for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). 

 
Restoring American Leadership and Confronting Global Threats
 

  • Supports United States’ European Allies and Partners. The Budget includes $6.9 billion for the European Deterrence Initiative, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and countering Russian aggression to support Ukraine, the United States’ strong partnerships with NATO allies, and other European partner states by bolstering funding to enhance the capabilities and readiness of U.S. Forces, NATO allies, and regional partners in the face of Russian aggression.
  • Defends Freedom Globally. To support American leadership in defending democracy, freedom, and security worldwide, the Budget includes nearly $1.8 billion for the State Department and USAID to support a free and open, connected, secure, and resilient Indo-Pacific Region and the Indo-Pacific Strategy, and $400 million for the Countering the People’s Republic of China Malign Influence Fund. In addition, the Budget provides nearly $1 billion in assistance to Ukraine for State Department, USAID, and Department of Defense to counter Russian malign influence and to meet emerging needs related to security, energy, cyber security issues, disinformation, macroeconomic stabilization, and civil society resilience.
     
  • Promotes Integrated Deterrence in the Indo-Pacific and Globally. The Budget proposes $773 billion for the Department of Defense. To sustain and strengthen deterrence, the Budget prioritizes China as the Department’s pacing challenge. DOD’s 2023 Pacific Deterrence Initiative highlights some of the key investments the Department is making that are focused on strengthening deterrence in the Indo-Pacific region. DOD is building the concepts, capabilities, and posture necessary to meet these challenges, working in concert with the interagency and our allies and partners to ensure our deterrence is integrated across domains, theaters, and the spectrum of conflict.
  • Renews America’s Leadership in International Institutions. The Budget continues the Administration’s efforts to lead through international organizations by meeting the Nation’s commitments to fully fund U.S. contributions and to pay United Nations peacekeeping dues on time and in full. The Budget also provides $1.4 billion for the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA). This investment restores the United States’ historical role as the largest World Bank donor to support the development of low- and middle-income countries, which benefits the American people by increasing global stability, mitigating climate and health risks, and developing new markets for U.S exports.
  • Advances Equity and Equality Globally. The Budget provides $2.6 billion to advance gender equity and equality across a broad range of sectors. This includes $200 million for the Gender Equity and Equality Action Fund to advance the economic security of women and girls. This total also includes funding to strengthen the participation of women in conflict prevention, resolution, and recovery through the implementation of the Women, Peace, and Security Act.
  • Advances American Leadership in Global Health, Including Global Health Security and Pandemic Preparedness. The Budget includes $10.6 billion to bolster U.S. leadership in addressing global health and health security challenges. Within this total, the Budget supports a $2 billion contribution to the Global Fund’s seventh replenishment, for an intended pledge of $6 billion over three years, to save lives and continue the fight against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, and to support the Global Fund’s expanding response to COVID-19 and global health strengthening. This total also includes $1 billion to prevent, prepare for, and respond to future infections disease outbreaks, including the continued expansion of Global Health Security Agenda capacity-building programs and a multilateral financial intermediary fund for health security and pandemic preparedness

 
Strengthening America’s Public Health & Advancing Cures for Cancer and Other Diseases
 

  • Prepares for Future Pandemics and Other Biological Threats. In addition to combatting the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the United States must catalyze advances in science, technology, and core capabilities to prepare for future biological threats. The Budget makes transformative investments in pandemic preparedness across the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)—$81.7 billion available over five years—to enable an agile, coordinated, and comprehensive public health response to protect American lives, families, and the economy.
     
  • Builds Advanced Public Health Systems and Capacity. The Budget includes $9.9 billion to build capacity at CDC and state and local levels to improve the core immunization program, expand public health infrastructure in States and Territories, strengthen the public health workforce, support efforts to modernize public health data collection, increase capacity for forecasting and analyzing future outbreaks, including at the Center for Forecasting and Outbreak Analytics, and conduct studies on Long COVID to inform diagnosis and treatment options.
     
  • Transforms Mental Health Care. The United States faces a mental health crisis that has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Budget proposes reforms to health coverage and invests in the behavioral health workforce. It provides sustained and increased funding for community-based centers and clinics, and mental health staff in schools, makes historic investments in youth mental health and suicide prevention programs, and strengthens access to crisis services by building out the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and crisis services infrastructure. These resources will help build system capacity, connect more Americans to care, and create a system of support to improve mental health for all.
  • Advances Maternal Health and Health Equity. The United States has the highest maternal mortality rate among developed nations, with an unacceptably high mortality rate for Black and American Indian and Alaska Native women. The Budget includes $470 million to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity rates, expand maternal health initiatives in rural communities, implement implicit bias training for healthcare providers, create pregnancy medical home projects, and address the highest rates of perinatal disparities. The Budget also expands maternal and other health initiatives in rural communities to improve access to high-quality care.
  • Accelerates Innovation through the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H)The Budget proposes a major investment of $5 billion for ARPA-H, significantly increasing direct Federal research and development (R&D) spending in health to improve the health of all Americans. With an initial focus on cancer and other diseases such as diabetes and dementia, this major investment will drive transformational innovation in health technologies and speed the application and implementation of health breakthroughs.

 
Taking Historic Steps to Combat the Climate Crisis and Advance Environmental Justice
 

  • Invests in Clean Energy Infrastructure and Innovation. The Budget invests $3.3 billion to support clean energy projects that will create good paying jobs, continue to cut to cost of clean energy, and drive progress toward President Biden’s climate goals. Investments include $502 million to weatherize and retrofit low-income homes, including $100 million for a new LIHEAP Advantage pilot to electrify and decarbonize low-income homes, and $260 million to support energy efficiency improvements to USDA-assisted multifamily homes. In addition, the Budget provides $150 million to electrify Tribal homes and transition Tribal colleges and universities to renewable energy, and $80 million for a new Grid Deployment Office to build the grid of the future.
  • Strengthens Climate Resilience. The Budget provides more than $18 billion for climate resilience and adaptation programs across the Federal Government. These critical investments will reduce the risk of damages from floods and storms, restore the Nation’s aquatic ecosystems, and make HUD-assisted multifamily homes more climate resilient. In line with President Biden’s commitment to ensure the American’s fighting wildfires earn $15 an hour, the Budget includes $1.8 billion in the Forest Service and Department of the Interior to strengthen the Federal firefighting workforce, increase capacity, and improve firefighter compensation.
  • Advances Equity and Environmental Justice. The Budget provides historic support for underserved communities, and advances the President’s Justice40 commitment to ensure 40 percent of the benefits of Federal investments in climate and clean energy reach disadvantaged communities. The Budget includes $1.45 billion to bolster the EPA’s environment justice efforts that will help create good-paying jobs, clean up pollution, implement Justice40, advance racial equity, and secure environmental justice for communities that too often have been left behind
     
  • Achieves the President’s Historic Climate Pledge. The Budget includes over $11 billion in international climate finance, meeting the President’s pledge to quadruple international climate finance a year early. This funding will accelerate the global energy transition to net zero emissions by 2050; help developing countries build resilience to the growing impacts of climate change, including through the President’s Emergency Plan for Adaptation and Resilience and other programs; and support the implementation of the President’s Plan to Conserve Global Forests. Among these critical investments are $1.6 billion for the Green Climate Fund, a critical multilateral tool for financing climate adaptation and mitigation projects in developing countries and support for a $3.2 billion loan to the Clean Technology Fund to finance clean energy projects in developing countries.
     

Expanding Economic Opportunity, Advancing Equity, and Strengthening our Democracy

  • Makes Historic Investments in K-12 Schools and Education Beyond High School. The Budget more than doubles funding for Title I compared to the 2021 enacted level through a combination of discretionary and mandatory funding. This substantial funding, which serves 25 million students in nearly 90 percent of school districts across America, is a major step toward fulfilling the President’s commitment to addressing long-standing funding disparities between under-resourced schools—which disproportionately serve students of color—and their wealthier counterparts. The Budget increases support for children with disabilities by providing a $3.3 billion increase for IDEA Grants to States – the largest two-year increase ever for the program. The budget also doubles funding for IDEA Grants for Infants and Families and proposes to reforms to increase equitable access to early intervention services with a proven record for improving academic and developmental outcomes. The Budget also provides $1 billion in sustainable funding to help schools increase the number of school counselors, psychologists, social workers and other health professionals. The Budget provides an additional $438 million for Full Service Community Schools, ramping up the mental health and wraparound supports in schools for students and their families. The Budget proposes to double the maximum Pell Grant by 2029, beginning with a historic $2,175 increase over the 2021-2022 school year, thereby expanding access and helping nearly 6.7 million students afford college.
     
  • Advances Child and Family Well-Being in the Child Welfare System. The Budget proposes to expand and incentivize the use of evidence-based foster care prevention services to keep families safely together and to reduce the number of children entering foster care, while also targeting resources to reduce the overrepresentation of children and families of color in the child welfare system. For children who do need to be placed into foster care, the Budget provides States with support to place more children with relatives or other adults who have an existing emotional bond with the child and fewer children in group homes and institutions while also providing additional funding to improve the educational outcomes of foster youth and support youth who age out of care without a permanent caregiver.
  • Guarantees Adequate and Stable Funding for the Indian Health Service (IHS). The Budget significantly increases IHS’s funding over time, and shifts it from discretionary to mandatory funding. For the first year of the proposal, the Budget includes $9.1 billion in mandatory funding, an increase of $2.9 billion above 2021. After that, IHS funding would automatically grow to keep pace with healthcare costs and population growth and gradually close longstanding service and facility shortfalls. Providing IHS stable and predictable funding will improve access to high quality healthcare, rectify historical underfunding of the Indian Health system, eliminate existing facilities backlogs, address health inequities, and modernize IHS’ electronic health record system.

Protects Our Elections and the Right to Vote. As our democracy faces threats across the country—and to provide state and local election officials with a predictable funding stream for critical capital investments and increased staffing and services—the Budget proposes $10 billion in new elections assistance funding to be allocated over ten years. The Budget also proposes to fund an expansion of U.S. Postal Service delivery capacity in underserved areas and support for vote-by-mail, including making ballots postage-free and reducing the cost of other election-related mail for jurisdictions and voters.

Biden Administration’s Objections to $778 Billion National Defense Authorization Act is Roadmap to Defense Policy

While strongly supporting enactment of a National Defense Authorization Act, the Biden Administration took exception to several aspects including funding platforms that cannot be properly modernized, wanting to merge Trump’s Space Force into the Air National Guard instead of an expensive stand-alone, and wanting funding to close Guantanamo. It also addresses Afghanistan and Israel, among others, and is generally a statement of Biden’s defense policy © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

While “strongly supporting” enactment of a National Defense Authorization Act, the Biden Administration took exception to several aspects including funding platforms that cannot be properly modernized, wanting to merge Trump’s Space Force into the Air National Guard instead of an expensive stand-alone, and wanting funding to close Guantanamo. It also addresses Afghanistan and Israel, among others, and is generally a statement of Biden’s defense policy.

The Administration looks forward to continuing to work with Congress to set an appropriate and responsible level of defense spending to support the security of the Nation.  At the same time, the Administration looks forward to working with Congress to provide appropriate resources for non-security investments and security investments outside the Department of Defense (DOD).”

Senator Bernie Sanders said he would vote against the $778 billion reauthorization bill as hypocrisy, when too many in Congress say the nation can’t afford universal health care and pre-K, while allocating $37 billion more than Trump’s last budget, even though the war in Afghanistan is over (where is the “peace dividend”?)

This is a bill that has us spending more money on the military than the next 12 nations combined and more money in real inflation-adjusted dollars than we did during the height of the Cold War or during the wars in Vietnam and Korea,” Sanders declared.

“This is a bill giving an obscene amount of money to an agency – the Department of Defense – with hundreds of billions of dollars of cost overruns and which remains the only federal agency that hasn’t been able to pass an independent audit in decades.

“On top of that, it is likely that Senate leadership will attach a so-called ‘competitiveness bill’ that includes $52 billion in corporate welfare, no strings attached money for a handful of extremely profitable microchip companies” for a combined $1 trillion bill, Sanders stated.

Biden would more or less agree on much of Sanders’ issues:

Here is the Statement of Administration Policy Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

STATEMENT OF ADMINISTRATION POLICY
S. 2792 – National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022

(Sen. Reed, D-RI, and Sen. Inhofe, R-OK)

The Administration strongly supports enactment of a National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for a 61st consecutive year and is grateful for the strong, bipartisan work this year by the Senate Armed Services Committee on behalf of America’s national defense. 

The Administration looks forward to continuing to work with Congress to set an appropriate and responsible level of defense spending to support the security of the Nation.  At the same time, the Administration looks forward to working with Congress to provide appropriate resources for non-security investments and security investments outside the Department of Defense (DOD).  A strong economy is critical to ensuring that our Nation is positioned for strategic competition, and investments in diplomacy, development, and economic statecraft enhance the effectiveness of national defense spending and promote national security.

The Administration opposes the direction to add funding for platforms and systems that cannot be affordably modernized given the need to eliminate wasteful spending and prioritize survivable, and resilient forces that credibly deter advanced threats.  Our national security interests require forces that can fight across the spectrum of conflict.

The Administration looks forward to working with Congress to address its concerns, a number of which are outlined below.  The Administration also looks forward to reviewing the classified annex to the committee report and working with Congress to address any concerns about classified programs.

Optimizing Program Investments and Modernization.  The Administration strongly opposes restoration of funding to systems that limit DOD’s ability to divest or retire lower priority platforms not relevant to tomorrow’s battlefield.  The President’s Budget divests or retires vulnerable and costly platforms that no longer meet mission or security needs, and reinvests those savings in transformational, innovative assets that match the dynamic threat landscape and advance the capabilities of the force of the future.  The Administration strongly opposes language that would limit decommissioning or inactivation of battle force ships before the end of their expected service life (section 135) and retiring A-10 aircraft (section 143).  The Administration also strongly opposes language that would establish minimum inventory requirements of systems such as tactical airlift and fighter aircraft (sections 141 and 142) and would authorize unrequested funding for Expeditionary Fast Transport ships.  Such provisions would limit the Department’s flexibility to prioritize resource investment, delay modernization of capabilities, and impede implementation of the emergent National Defense Strategy. 

Afghanistan Security Forces Fund.  Section 1213 provides authorities no longer needed following the collapse of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF).  Therefore, the Administration strongly urges the Senate to adopt the language in the House bill to enable the responsible termination of the Afghanistan Security Forces Fund (ASFF) by authorizing the use of ASFF for costs associated with the termination of support to the ANDSF.  The termination will involve, at a minimum, closing out several hundred contracts and, in many cases, negotiating financial settlements with the contractors, developing a full accounting for all ASFF-funded equipment and supplies that are outside Afghanistan, and assessing amounts and the use of appropriations for potential contract settlement costs and the cost of transporting and storing ASFF-funded materiel for purposes of treating it as DOD stocks.  More analysis is necessary to develop prudent estimates of these costs and of timelines for completing these actions.

Recommendations of the Independent Review Commission on Sexual Assault in the Military (IRC).  The Administration commends the determined and bipartisan effort reflected by the bill to advance the shared goal of Congress and the Administration to make real and sustainable progress on the prevention of and response to sexual assault and other related crimes, and improve support for survivors.

The Administration supports effective implementation of the IRC’s recommendations focused on accountability, improving prevention, climate and culture, and victim care and support and has developed and instituted a phased implementation plan to build the foundation and infrastructure necessary to do so sustainably.  The Administration looks forward to working with the Congress to clarify Sec. 530B, to allow for alignment with the Department of Defense’s ongoing implementation strategy. Additionally, some of the IRC’s recommendations – such as 4.2 b, which relates to services provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs – are beyond the authority of the Secretary of Defense to implement unilaterally. 

The Administration is committed to executing military justice reform, and welcomes efforts by Congress to enact legislation that supports core aspects of the IRC’s recommendations for accountability, namely: that the decision to prosecute special victim crimes (including, but not limited to: sexual assault, sexual harassment, and domestic violence) be made by Special Victim Prosecutors (SVPs) within a fully professionalized judge advocate organization; that SVPs have the requisite litigation experience and specialized training to be able to work with victims of these complex, interpersonal crimes; and that each Military Department establish an Office of the Special Victim Prosecutor (OSVP) that can operate with independence from the command reporting structure and under the direction of the Secretary of the Military Department, without intervening authority.  The Administration believes that each Secretary of a Military Department should have discretion to determine the director of the OSVP, who may be a Senior Executive Service civilian, best suited to carry out the mission of the Office as determined by that Secretary. 

To ensure effective reform, the Administration recommends the date prescribed by section 552, so that adequate time is provided to issue necessary implementing regulations, identify and hire appropriately qualified personnel, train both new and existing personnel, and then place them in newly created positions.

Additionally, effective reform will require an increase in the resources committed to the system.  Accordingly, the Administration objects to section 564, which would require implementation of the military justice reforms using otherwise-authorized personnel and resources.  The Administration will work with Congress to determine the appropriate resource level needed to ensure effective implementation of the revised military justice system. 

In addition to these recommendations from the IRC, the Administration urges Congress to enable military protective orders (MPOs) to be given full faith and credit, and enact legislation that would provide DOD and the Services sufficient time to assess and implement this change.

Limitation on Modifications to Sexual Assault Reporting Procedures.  The Administration strongly objects to section 566, which would prohibit the Secretary of Defense from amending section 4 of enclosure 4 of DOD Instruction 6495.02, relating to Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program Procedures, “or otherwise prescribe any regulations or guidance relating to the treatment and handling of unrestricted and restricted reports of sexual assault, until 30 days after notifying the congressional defense committees of the proposed amendment or modification.”  This provision could delay potential needed updates to DOD’s sexual assault regulations.  The administration is committed to working with Congress in a transparent way on these important matters, but must maintain flexibility to amend internal policies when needed.

Air and Space National Guard.  The Administration does not oppose section 902, which would rename the Air National Guard as the Air and Space National Guard.  This provision would avoid the significant administrative expenses associated with establishing a stand-alone Space National Guard, so DOD can prioritize the development of new space capabilities.  The Administration looks forward to working with the Congress on alternative Space Force concepts that are efficient, effective, and appropriate for space missions.

DOD Contractor Professional Training Material Disclosure Requirements.  The Administration strongly opposes section 818, which would require all DOD contractors to post online or, if they lack an online presence, submit in paper to the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment all diversity, equal opportunity, equity, inclusion, or tolerance training materials or internal policies related to these subjects.  This provision would require the disclosure of intellectual property and proprietary information.  Furthermore, the provision would be a barrier to entry, especially for small businesses or companies contracting with the Department for the first time.  This provision, therefore, would limit the number of entities willing or able to do business with the Department at a time when access to talent, technology, and innovation is a critical determinant of the U.S.’s ability to compete.

Limitations on Use of Funds in the National Defense Sealift (NDS) Fund.  The Administration strongly objects to the removal of funding for used sealift vessels.  The Administration also urges support for the necessary relief to recapitalize the sealift fleet with used vessels by removing existing statutory limitations.  The Administration strongly encourages Congress to remove the statutory cap on the number of used sealift vessels DOD can procure and to remove the statutory link between the use of NDS funding for the purchase of used vessels and the requirement to procure new construction vessels.  This will allow the Administration to recapitalize the sealift fleet, with all used ship conversions taking place in U.S. shipyards, for a fraction of the cost of procuring new vessels.

Basic Needs Allowance for Low-Income Regular Members.  The Administration supports a basic needs allowance.  The Administration needs a more comprehensive data analysis to determine the inclusion or exclusion of basic allowance for housing when considering the calculation of a basic needs allowance.  Using this analysis, the Administration would like to work with Congress to develop an appropriate calculation for targeting recipients of a basic needs allowance.

Prohibition on Missile Defense Agency Production of Satellites and Ground Systems Associated with Operation of Such Satellites.  The Administration strongly objects to section 1510, which would prohibit the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) from authorizing or obligating funding for a program of record for the production of satellites, with an associated limitation of funds. Hypersonic and Ballistic Tracking Space Sensor (HBTSS) On-Orbit Prototype Demonstration phase began in January 2021 with contracts awarded to two industry teams.  This program supports unique missile defense requirements to provide fire-control quality tracking data on hypersonic and ballistic missile threats for engagement by missile defense weapons, and is a critical element of the Missile Defense System kill-chain.  Enacting section 1510 would delay delivery of this capability to the warfighter.  Also, consistent with congressional direction, the Secretary of Defense has certified the Director of MDA as the responsible agent for developing the HBTSS capability.

Modification of United States-Israel Operations-Technology Cooperation within the United States-Israel Defense Acquisition Advisory Group.  While the Administration strongly supports strengthening the U.S.-Israel relationship, the Administration strongly opposes section 1271, which would make the United States-Israel Operations-Technology Working Group (OTWG) mandatory.  DOD has developed draft Terms of Reference for such a group and is finalizing negotiations with Israel.  However, enactment of section 1271 would eliminate the flexibility the Administration needs to ensure that the terms, membership, and focus of the OTWG are in the U.S. interest.

Enhancement of Recusal for Conflicts of Personal Interest Requirements for Department of Defense Officers and Employees.  The Administration is committed to preventing conflicts of interest, but is concerned that section 1103 lacks any mechanism for the Secretary of Defense to grant a waiver or authorization to authorize participation when it is in the best interests of the Government.  Section 1103 needs to be aligned with existing ethics rules because it introduces new terms, broader standards, and requires the Department to further screen all DOD personnel from participating in “covered matters” involving clients and competitors of an employee’s former employer for four years.  Section 1103 would significantly extend the time and resources needed to make decisions and limit DOD’s ability to hire qualified personnel.

Missile Defense Radar in Hawaii.  The Administration opposes added funding for the Homeland Defense Radar – Hawaii (HDR-H).  The Department had planned to field HDR-H, the Pacific Radar, the Redesigned Kill Vehicle (RKV), and the Long Range Discrimination Radar by the mid-2020s as a system of systems to improve homeland ballistic missile defense.  The Pacific Radar has been delayed indefinitely due to stalled negotiations with the host nation, and the RKV program has been cancelled.  Hawaii is currently defended against missile threats to the same extent as the rest of the United States, and DOD is currently investing in other capabilities, such as the Next Generation Interceptor, which will support the long-term defense of Hawaii.

Reprioritization of Military Construction Funding to Unrequested Projects.  The Administration opposes section 4601, which would realign military construction funding authorization from priority projects to other projects not included in the President’s Budget.  Contrary to the Administration’s fiscally responsible policy to fully fund projects, the bill proposes to fund 14 military construction projects incrementally, effectively creating an unfunded obligation of almost $1 billion to complete these projects.

Alignment of Close Combat Lethality Task Force.  The Administration strongly opposes section 905, which would prevent implementation of the Secretary of Defense’s decision to realign the Close Combat Lethality Task Force (CCLTF) to the Secretary of the Army, effective October 1, 2021.  Section 905 would prevent the alignment of the CCLTF with the organization best positioned to identify, test, develop, demonstrate, and integrate new close combat capabilities, capacity that is already built into the Army’s Maneuver Center of Excellence.  Importantly, the CCLTF will remain a joint organization, with a Tri-Service board governing the work of the CCLTF.

Prohibition on Support for Offensive Military Operations Against the Houthis in Yemen.  The Administration opposes section 1272 because it is unnecessary; the Administration already has ceased support for Saudi-led coalition offensive operations in Yemen.  In addition, because DOD does not have the lead for humanitarian aid delivery, the Secretary of Defense is not the appropriate official to provide the requested report.

Prohibition on Reduction of the Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles of the United States.  The Administration objects to section 1543, which would restrict the President and the Department of Defense from reducing the number of deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles below 400.  The Administration objects to this restriction while the force structure is under review as part of the ongoing Nuclear Posture Review (NPR).  This language would constrain the President’s ability to propose the nuclear force he determines is necessary.

Significant New Foreign Policy Provisions.  The Administration is concerned that the bill includes certain sections—specifically 1011, 1201, 1205, 1207, 1208, 1209, 1211, 1242, and 1275—that would require DOD engagement in, analysis of, or reporting on significant foreign policy issues without including sufficient means for the Secretary of State to provide input and ensure that foreign assistance is carried out in a manner consistent with foreign policy priorities.

Coordination Between United States Cyber Command and Private Sector.  The Administration opposes section 1604, as this provision’s relationship to section 1642(b) of the FY 2019 NDAA is unclear. The Secretary of Defense’s authority to “make arrangements with private sector entities, on a voluntary basis” under section 1642(b) is scoped to the four top nation-state threats.  In contrast, section 1604 is not similarly scoped, is not tied to existing authorities, is arguably duplicative, lacks appropriate coordination with the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security, and may prohibit internal U.S Government information sharing.

Pilot Program on Public-Private Partnerships with Internet Ecosystem Companies to Detect and Disrupt Adversary Cyber Operations.  The Administration opposes section 1605, which would require the Secretary of Defense to initiate a pilot program to use public-private partnerships to facilitate detection and disruption of malicious cyber activity on private sector infrastructure.  Many of the authorized activities would be achieved more effectively through existing federal activities, such as the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s Joint Cyber Defense Collaborative and several Federal Bureau of Investigation and other law enforcement programs. Establishing a separate pilot program led by DOD would further complicate federal efforts to collaborate with the private sector, including “internet ecosystem companies,” in a unified, coordinated manner.

Safe Drinking Water Act Amendment on Cybersecurity.  The Administration urges support for the requested amendment to the Safe Drinking Water Act to enhance cybersecurity and resilience requirements for drinking water systems.  Recent incidents show that cyber-attacks and malicious cyber activity against drinking water systems can disrupt and endanger our critical water infrastructure’s ability to provide safe and reliable drinking water, and put the health and lives of our citizens at risk. 

Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility.  The Administration strongly objects to sections 1031, 1032, and 1033, which would extend the prohibitions on the use of funds to: transfer Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility (GTMO) detainees to the United States (1031); construct or modify facilities in the United States to house transferred GTMO detainees (1032); and transfer GTMO detainees to certain countries (1033).  These provisions would interfere with the President’s ability to determine the appropriate disposition of GTMO detainees and to make important foreign policy and national security determinations regarding whether and under what circumstances to transfer detainees to the custody or effective control of foreign countries.

Constitutional Concerns.  Certain provisions of the bill, such as section 1232, raise constitutional concerns.  The Administration looks forward to working with Congress to address this and other constitutional concerns.

Climate Disasters Should Force Re-think of Trump (‘Cheater-in-Chief’) Tax Plan

How will the nation fund the recovery from the increasingly devastating climate disasters? The lates record-breaking climate catastrophes, Harvey and Irma, should cause re-thinking of the investment in climate action and Trump’s plan to cut taxes for the wealthiest © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

By Karen Rubin, News & Photo Features

Hurricane Harvey had just devastated Texas, the worst natural disaster up until two weeks later when the entire state of Florida was about to be destroyed by Hurricane Irma, as whole Caribbean island nations as well as the US territory of Puerto Rico had their infrastructure utterly decimated. And Hurricane Jose was on Irma’s tail. Meanwhile, Los Angeles and Oregon were being consumed by record wildfires. Congress had authorized $15 billion toward Hurricane Harvey relief and to replenish the nearly depleted funds of FEMA.

Indeed, in North Dakota on September 6, as Hurricane Irma was barreling toward Florida, Trump, the Tax-Cheat-in-Chief, gave an incoherent speech touting his tax plan that began with his incredulity in discovering that North Dakota was undergoing a massive drought.

“I just said to the governor, I didn’t know you had droughts this far north.  Guess what?  You have them.  But we’re working hard on it and it’ll disappear.  It will all go away,” Trump said.

Accuweather is projecting the cost of Harvey and Irma alone at $290 billion, or 1.5% of total GDP, which would erase the growth of the economy through year-end, according to Dr. Joel N. Myers, president and chairman.

That’s also more than one-fourth of the $1 trillion that Trump proposed for a 10-year infrastructure plan. Where will the money come from? And if all infrastructure spending has to be directed to Texas and Florida, where does that leave the rest of the country? Not to mention the $1 billion Trump is demanding as down payment on a $70 billion border wall.

Does this get you thinking that Trump and his administration, especially EPA Administrator and shill for the oil industry Scott Pruitt, should rethink their self-serving notion of climate change denial (self-serving because it is used to fuel their argument that they can overturn environmental regulations on the massively profitable fossil fuel industry)? Of course not.

But it should also cause them to rethink their totally corrupt plan for tax reform which is intended to starve the federal government of funds, balloon the budget deficit and national debt, all to shift more of wealth to the already fabulously wealthy. Especially when so many people have lost their businesses and jobs, which will certainly impact tax revenues.

Let’s just consider for a moment what taxes are supposed to be for. And yes, a considerable amount goes to pay for interest on bonds, but bonds are what are used to pay for infrastructure – they represent an investment in the future. And as we are considering how to replace the destroyed and decimated infrastructure, why not build back with sustainability in mind.

Just as in his speech declaring his decision to withdraw the US from the Paris Climate Agreement (forged with US leadership and signed by 195 countries), Trump, who took a $900 million tax deduction on his failed Atlantic City casino and probably has never paid 40% tax in his life,lies to rationalize his tax plan, beginning with the lie that the US is the highest taxed nation in the world (not true) and that workers wages will increase if only shareholders and CEOs and the wealthiest 1% could keep an even greater percentage of their money (history shows the opposite).  (See New York Times, The False Promises in President Trump’s Tax Plan)

Remember: the wealthiest people used to be taxed at 90% – that was after World War II when the nation had to rebuild its treasury. We were able to afford the GI Bill which probably did more to create a middle class than anything since the New Deal. Now the wealthiest pay something between 35 to 40% – except that they don’t.

Trump (and Ryan) want to give a $170,000 annual windfall to the wealthiest Americans, while crumbs ($700) to the middle class who will lose the only tax deductions they can use.  $170,000 times four years worth mean in terms of free money (from tax-paying schnooks) is a lot of dough to invest in politicians and policy with a spectacular return: policies like enabling Big Pharma Sharks to hike up life-saving drugs by 5000%; Oil Barons to make sure incentives for wind and solar energy don’t help these industries develop into competitors; real estate developers who can delight in the tax advantages that let them take a $900 million deduction and build without interfering regulations on lands that are needed to soak up flood waters and health insurance companies to raise premiums to pad profits.

Now this nation is looking at more than $290 billion just to recover from the climate disasters which are becoming more and more frequent, hitting the high density developed urban centers.

If taxes for those who have the means to pay don’t cover the cost, who does? Ryan and the Republicans love to talk about “sacrifice” but the only ones they demand sacrifices from are not the wealthiest or the corporations, but Social Security and Medicare recipients, struggling middle class kids who need to take out loans to pay for college. Their concept is to take money out of the consumer economy, which starts a downward unvirtuous cycle of economic contraction. How do we know?” Because we have seen this movie before: the Bush tax cuts. Meanwhile, median income has risen to its highest levels in 1999 (under Bill Clinton) and 2016 (under Barack Obama) and their tax-and-spending plans.

The Trump/Ryan tax “plan” requires a federal budget that slashes spending for infrastructure, for research and development, for education, for environmental protection (and of course, eradicating any mention of climate change), even slashing spending for diplomacy and foreign aid. It depends on slashing Medicaid and subsidies to keep health insurance affordable (that’s why they are so desperate to repeal Obamacare).

It slashes the tax rate for corporations which already do not pay the nominal 35% rate. Many highly profitable corporations – including General Electric, Pepco Holdings, PG&E Corp., Priceline and Duke Energy – paid nothing into federal coffers from 2008-2015 yet benefit from all the services the government provides including roads, public safety, an educated workforce, mass transit, a military to defend their shipping.

To get to a tax cut without obscenely increasing the national debt, the Republicans say they will get rid of “loopholes” like the mortgage credit and property taxes – that would only complete the decimation of the Middle Class and destroy any semblance of an American Dream. What would make more sense, if they really cared to “reform” the tax code and stop the income distribution from middle class to the already fabulous rich, is to take away the mortgage tax credits on 2nd, 3rd homes and such, and take away the many special deductions that real estate developers like Trump has benefited from, as well as the loopholes that let hedge fund managers shield all but a fraction of their income from taxes that wage-earners pay.

Indeed, the policies that Trump are proposing – specifically, eliminating the tax deduction for state and local property taxes – would hurt blue-states that tend to have higher state and local taxes because they tend to have higher property taxes but provide more services and get less in federal payments than they send to the government, while red-states that have low state and local taxes (and crappy schools and health care) get more from the federal government (paid for by blue states) than they send.

And what about Puerto Rico. which already was in economic disaster – having defaulted on $70 billion in debt – and basically written off by the US government. It’s infrastructure is now totally destroyed. How will it be rebuilt? Here’s what I imagine:  Trump is so transactional, I can see a foreign country (China?) with big bucks and an interest in having a foothold in the Western Hemisphere buying Puerto Rico from the US. After all, what is $100 billion or $200 billion to put the island right?

Of course Trump’s tax “reform” plan – sketched out as if on the back of an envelope without any analysis – is really all about tax cuts to the wealthiest and to corporations. As Hillary Clinton said during a debate (which she won): “trickle down economics on steroids” from the guy who took a $900 million deduction for a failed real estate deal, which taxpayers – normal working stiffs – wind up paying for.

Those who have actually analyzed the plan have said that the wealthiest people – who have done astronomically well for decades, while middle class Americans have scarcely had a salary increase in 40 years, so that the gap between rich and poor has reached Grand Canyon proportions – would get a tax windfall of $170,000 a year, while middle class families would get something like $700. Where do the 1 percenters put that extra money which they scarcely need? Well, they invest in buying politicians and influencing policy, of course.

Tax “reform” figures into the Trump obsession with repealing Obamacare and leaving 32 million people without health insurance. It figures into the administration’s dismissal of the Gateway Tunnel project so important to the New York region’s infrastructure and economy.

But now, Trump’s Republican states are being whacked with climate catastrophes, and the money has to come from somewhere.

And let’s also be reminded that the growth in the economy – first, saving the nation from plunging into another Great Depression, and now rebounding to the highest median income, lowest unemployment rate ever and highest rate of health insurance coverage while reducing the poverty rate – happened because of Obama Administration policies and would have been even more effective in terms of raising wages and living standards if the Trump Administration did not steamroll back policies, like overtime pay, parental leave, and federal minimum wage and obstruct infrastructure development and the transition to clean, renewable energy.

People remark that the devastation in their neighborhoods from these massive climate disasters is like a bomb went off. Well, in wartime, taxes are raised – that’s how the rate on the wealthiest hit 90%, to pay off the World War II debt. This is wartime. This nation has to rebuild, and sustainably, responsibly. We need to invest in 21st and 22nd century technologies, to keep the United States a global leader. Otherwise, we will cede our leverage to China which has basically embraced the American model of spreading its political ideology (nominally, “Democracy”) through capitalism (nominally “free market” as opposed to centralized control) and is literally buying up influence over Africa and Asia.

Of course, Trump’s tax plan is Paul Ryan’s tax plan (Trump never actually had a plan), and the Republicans are content to let Trump destroy the nation and end the social safety net including Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid, and possibly embroil us in World War III, until they can get jam through the tax plan they have coveted since Reagan.

________

© 2017 News & Photo Features Syndicate, a division of Workstyles, Inc. All rights reserved. For editorial feature and photo information, go to www.news-photos-features.com, email [email protected]. Blogging at www.dailykos.com/blogs/NewsPhotosFeatures.  ‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures, Tweet @KarenBRubin

Long Islanders Rally at Congressman Peter King’s Office to Save the EPA

Dozens of Long Islanders, constituents of Congressman Peter King turned out for a rally at his Massapequa office to demand he reject cuts to the EPA budget.

Dozens of concerned Long Islanders gathered outside of Congressman Peter King’s office at 1003 Park Boulevard, Massapequa Park on Thursday morning to demand that he pledge to oppose any cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as Congress prepares to reconvene.

The House Appropriations Committee has approved slashing the EPA’s budget by hundreds of millions of dollars, undermining its ability to protect Long Island’s water, air, and climate. The entire House is set to vote on the proposal in September.

“We hope that Rep. Peter King, having lived through Superstorm Sandy, and seeing the current devastation of Hurricane Harvey and other recent hurricanes, will oppose any cuts to funding for the Environmental Protection Agency,” Lisa Oldendorp, lead organizer of Move Forward Long Island, said. Long Islanders are acutely aware of the need for clean water, air, and soil. Suffolk County has the worst air quality in NY State and the toxic Grumman plume is heading south towards Massapequa.  We hope that Rep. King will oppose any and all budget cuts to the EPA.”

Destruction at Breezy Point, New York after Superstorm Sandy in 2012. The Trump Administration and Congress fail to learn the lessons, reflected in policy and budgeting, that would mitigate such costly climate catastrophes © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

“Our hope is that Peter King will uphold his commitment to protecting Long Island families from the impacts of water and air pollution by refusing to accept a budget that cuts any funding to the Environmental Protection Agency,” Ryan Madden, sustainability organizer with the Long Island Progressive Coalition, said. “His decision to join the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus is a step in the right direction in tackling the biggest crisis we face as a nation but will be meaningless if the agency tasked with protecting our natural world is dismantled.”

Dozens of Long Islanders, constituents of Congressman Peter King turned out for a rally at his Massapequa office to demand he reject cuts to the EPA budget.

Shay O’Reilly, organizing representative for the Sierra Club, stated, “The EPA budget today is already 20% smaller than it was in 2010. Rep. King must listen to his constituents and stand up for the health and well-being of communities in his district by voting against any budget that cuts funding to the EPA.”

Dozens of Long Islanders, constituents of Congressman Peter King turned out for a rally at his Massapequa office to demand he reject cuts to the EPA budget.

Margaret Maher, a volunteer with Food & Water Watch and a constituent of Rep. King’s, said: The five-year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, and the devastation in Texas, are a reminder of the tragic reality of climate change. Long Islanders need the EPA to protect our water, air and climate. Representative King must draw a line in the sand against any cuts to the EPA budget.”

Dozens of Long Islanders, constituents of Congressman Peter King turned out for a rally at his Massapequa office to demand he reject cuts to the EPA budget.