Biden’s Budget Outlines Key Investments for Economic Growth, Equity

This statement can be attributed to Olivia Golden, executive director of the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP).

Washington, DC, March 28, 2022—Today, the Biden-Harris Administration released its FY 2023 budget proposal laying out a blueprint for its spending priorities. The administration is calling for investments in children, youth, families, and workers to continue to grow the economy and build toward a more equitable future. Budgets are moral documents, and we strongly endorse the proposal’s priorities that address the challenges faced by families with low incomes and communities of color. As costs rise, it’s more important than ever that Congress step in, as these proposals envision, to bring down costs for families.

Moreover, the proposed investments would address our country’s historic failures to invest in a meaningful care infrastructure—affordable child care and home and community-based care and paid family and medical leave for all—that leaves behind women and in particular women of color. So, too, is it crucial to continue the investments—like those in the expanded and fully refundable Child Tax Credit—that made historic reductions in child poverty. Investments in health care, mental health, and good jobs are all necessary to deliver on an equitable economic recovery for all and address longstanding racial and gender inequities.

Today’s budget release comes as Congress continues negotiations to enact economic legislation through the budget process for FY 2022. In December, the House passed the Build Back Better Act, including historic investments in child care and pre-kindergarten; anti-poverty tax credits for workers and families; good jobs through climate investments; comprehensive paid family and medical leave; affordable health care; and relief and support for immigrant families. In today’s budget documents, the Administration reiterated support for working with Congress to enact comprehensive legislation to address these priorities. Because the economic legislation remains under negotiation in Congress, the president did not specify spending levels in those areas being negotiated.

The Biden-Harris Administration’s budget builds on last year’s American Rescue Plan Act that boosted the economy and responded directly to the needs that so many people—particularly those who live with low incomes and in communities of color—continue to experience as they grapple with the pandemic’s effects, high inflation, and generations-long systemic racism and inequities. The budget also proposes new investments in crucial areas that include mental and behavioral health, maternal health and health equity, postsecondary education, and housing.

With the continued harm that our immigration system—particularly enforcement—places on families, children, and individuals, we are pleased to see the budget’s reduction in detention beds used by the federal government. However, we are disappointed this budget envisions an increase in Border Patrol agents and increases to surveillance programs. A budget that supports children and families must also divest in punitive immigration enforcement. The reduction in detention beds is a good start, but we need to go further.

We very much appreciate that the president’s budget proposes to pay for crucial investments in children, families, and the economy through improvements to our tax system so that the wealthy and corporations pay their fair share of taxes.

CLASP urges the Congress to move forward swiftly with legislation to bring down costs for families, respond to the many stressors children, families, and individuals are experiencing, and build a more equitable economy that supports everyone.