President Joe Biden requests his first federal budget at a whopping $1.5 trillion, in hopes to enhance America’s schools, healthcare and housing, as well as environmental protection.
“Major changes are coming, and students need to be informed,” said Dr. Gary Rose, chair of the department of government.
According to the Associated Press, Biden seeks to increase the Department of Education’s funds by 40.8%, Department of Health Services by 23.1%, housing and urban development by 15.1%, and a $14 billion increase to address climate change.
In addition, the Biden administration will try to deal with incoming arrivals from the U.S. southern borders, including an $861 million investment in Central America to address the issues driving people to migrate to the U.S.
“I feel as though this plan has all the right components to be in motion, but the amount of money and timing just doesn’t seem fully right. We are still in a global pandemic, and right now many people are focused on short-term solutions, not long-term,” said sophomore Lauren Kuhlmeier.
On the other hand, Senate Republicans didn’t hold back to criticize Biden’s proposal on a small increase for defense of 1.6%. As Republicans claim, America would “fail” in its constitutional responsibility to give protection if funds toward defense aren’t prioritized to keep America “strong.”
“I think it is reckless spending and a reflection of President Biden accommodating the far-left wing of his political party,” said Rose. “I would certainly be in favor of fixing roads, bridges and rail lines as that is true infrastructure, but so much of his proposal has virtually nothing to do with infrastructure improvement.”
However, the Biden administration and Democratic Party believe that the request would bring spending in line with the U.S. to historical average. The $700 billion that is being put into non-defense funding is essentially comparable to a 30-year average.
The Biden administration believes the cap, imposed by the long-abandoned 2011 budget deal, is due to a decade of severe underinvestment in public services. Biden is now trying to turn around with a large increase that would mostly pass through the national security programs.
“Although I may have my own personal opinion on politics and our president, I would love to see positive change within our nation,” said sophomore Maddison Jones. “Even if it’s simply fixing things in the education department or helping with our health department with things like the vaccine. Through and through, some proposals should be made for change.”
The President’s plan as written through Congress is typically a long shot to pass. As seen throughout history, conflicts with Republicans are likely to put a hold on these accounts, putting them on the back burner for months after the Sept. 30 expiration of the budget year.
For more information on the proposal and other developments, Biden will be addressing his first joint session of Congress on Wednesday, April 28.
“The best way for students to understand what is going on in our nation is by reading media reports from several different media outlets and perhaps even taking an informative course on American government,” said Rose.