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President Biden proposes $1.5 trillion annual budget loaded with boosts to social programs

The new administration is looking to tackle issues like opioids, climate change, and civil rights

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Photo (c) JGI Jamie Grill - Getty Images
President Joe Biden has finished drafting his annual budget proposal, and it appears to lean heavily into investments in domestic spending and public support programs. 

The Office of Management and Budget sent the proposal to congressional lawmakers on Friday. The 2022 budget plan calls for $1.5 trillion in spending, with Biden requesting discretionary funding to support K-12 education, medical research, housing, and civil rights, among other priorities. 

“The upcoming appropriations process is another important opportunity to continue laying a stronger foundation for the future and reversing a legacy of chronic disinvestment in crucial priorities,” said OMB Acting Director Shalanda Young. “Together, America has a chance not simply to go back to the way things were before the COVID-19 pandemic and economic downturn struck, but to begin building a better, stronger, more secure, more inclusive America.”

The discretionary funding to-do list

Below is a list of several of the priorities that the Biden administration is focusing on when it comes to discretionary funding in 2022:

Investing in High-Poverty Schools: The Biden administration wants to invest $36.5 billion in Title I grants, an increase of $20 billion from 2021. The money is meant to address funding disparities between economically diverse communities and provide more support to low-income areas.

Fighting the Opioid Epidemic: The opioid epidemic has been raging in the U.S. for years. To help put it to an end, the Biden team wants to invest $10.7 billion to support research, treatment, and recovery support programs within at-risk communities.

Tackling Climate Change: To address the growing threat of climate change, the Biden administration is looking to increase investment by $14 billion in 2022 to go towards climate change initiatives. This includes helping developing countries reduce emissions to improve global climate health. 

Addressing Homelessness: The discretionary spending plan calls for $30.4 billion for Housing Choice Vouchers so that 200,000 more families can obtain “vital assistance” for housing. Another $500 million will be added to the American Rescue Plan to prevent homelessness in 100,000 more households.

Reinvigorating Civil Rights Enforcement: The Biden administration plans to invest $209 million to help protect marginalized communities. Some of the initiatives that money would go towards include police reform, prosecution of hate crimes, voting rights enforcement, and mediation and conciliation services for community conflicts related to discriminatory practices, among other related activities. The funding would also create more civil rights offices in federal agencies.

You can read a detailed breakdown of the White House’s proposed discretionary budget here.

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