(Reuters) – Here are six takeaways from U.S. President Joe Biden’s proposed federal budget, released on Friday:
* HEADLINE NUMBERS. It increases federal discretionaryspending by 8.4% compared to 2021 levels, excluding emergencyfunding, to $1.52 trillion, with a focus on health, educationand climate. About two-thirds of the massive budget is”mandatory” spending for benefits like Social Security andMedicare. * MILITARY AND DEFENSE SPENDING. Making up about half of theU.S. discretionary budget, this would increase by 1.7% to $753billion. The increase is likely to upset progressives, whopushed for cuts to the never-audited Department of Defense tofuel other policy priorities. Because it is lower than formerPresident Donald Trump’s 2022 projections, it may also angerRepublican defense hawks pushing for more spending. * HEALTH AND MEDICAL RESEARCH. The budget includes $8.7billion in funding for the Centers for Disease Control andPrevention, representing what the White House says is thelargest increase in two decades. The CDC has suffered from adecade of declining funding, and the agency’s muddled responseto the coronavirus pandemic may have contributed to the spreadof the disease, Reuters reported https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-cdc-response-speci/special-report-how-u-s-cdc-missed-chances-to-spot-covids-silent-spread-idUSKBN29R1E7. The budget also allocates $6.5 billion for a new researchagency to direct federal funding to diabetes, Alzheimer’s andcancer research, and $10.7 billion to research and preventopioid addiction, representing a nearly $4 billion increase fromlast year. * IMPOVERISHED SCHOOLS. The budget allocates a record $20billion increase to impoverished public schools that are part ofthe “Title One” program, part of a Biden pledge to addresseducation inequality. * CLIMATE. The proposal includes budget boosts of about 20%for the Environmental Protection Agency and the National ScienceFoundation over last year’s enacted levels. A total $14 billionboost on climate spending is expected to go a long way towardreversing Trump’s slashing of regulations on fossil fuelproducers such as rules on methane, a potent greenhouse gas, andprovides $1.2 billion for the international Green Climate Fundas part of Biden’s re-entry into the Paris Agreement on climatechange. * TRANSIT. The administration is proposing $600 million tobuy electric vehicles for government agencies and chargingstations, including for the U.S. Postal Service and $8 billionfor the Energy Department to invest in clean energytechnologies, up 27% over the prior year’s funding. It wouldalso boost U.S. passenger railroad Amtrak funding by 35%.
(Reporting by Heather Timmons, Tim Gardner and David Shephardson; Editing by Howard Goller)