Last week, President Joe Biden introduced the first budget of his presidency, and given its massive $6 trillion price tag and grab bag of far-left policy priorities, it appears that his plan is already facing serious headwinds in Congress, according to the Washington Examiner.
The request for the fiscal year 2022 budget was released by the White House on Friday, and, as Fox News reports, it amounts to expenditures that would send public debt levels in 2024 to their highest point since World War II and would grow the deficit to what critics argue is an unacceptable degree over the course of the next ten years.
While it is true that presidential budgets are typically subject to significant adjustment once they reach Congress, the increasingly partisan nature of the federal legislature regularly prompts the party not in the White House to immediately declare such plans dead in the water, as Brookings Institution economics scholar Joshua Gotbaum explained to the Examiner.
At present, it is difficult to envision a scenario in which 60 votes could be marshaled in the Senate for many of the spending provisions in Biden’s budget, a fact which could compel Democrats to resort to the process known as reconciliation, which would permit passage of bundled items by a simple 51-vote majority.
Not surprisingly, it did not take long for Republicans to begin highlighting some of the more outrageous facets of the administration’s budget request, with former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declaring the proposal a “smorgasbord of left-wing activities that [Democrats] want to underwrite with American taxpayers and, make no mistake about it, in the end middle class, hard working Americans will be taxed to pay for this.”
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) did not hold back either, saying Biden’s plan is “the most reckless and irresponsible budget proposal in my lifetime,” arguing that it worsens debt, contributes to inflation, jeopardizes national security, and also “breaks with decades of settled precedent by calling for direct taxpayer-funded abortion.”
McCarthy was referencing the fact that an element of Biden’s budget reflects the president’s reversal — under pressure from party progressives — of his own long-standing position on the Hyde Amendment, which banned the use of federal funds to pay for abortions, as Fox News noted.
Given the expansive scope of the desired spending levels and the highly controversial provisions contained therein, Biden’s budget is, according to Jason Fichtner, chief economist at the Bipartisan Policy Center, “very aspirational.” Fichtner also told the Examiner, “Maybe that’s why it’s being released on a Friday before Memorial Day. There’s just not enough reality here in the budget.”
Summing up the GOP’s current stance on Biden’s spending plan, Senate Budget Committee Ranking Member Lindsey Graham (R-SC) explained that it is “dead on arrival – just like all other presidential budgets,” adding, “There will be serious discussions about government funding. But the Biden budget isn’t serious and it won’t be part of those discussions.”