Biden Details $1.52 Trillion Spending Proposal to Fund Discretionary Priorities

WASHINGTON — President Biden outlined a vast expansion of federal spending on Friday, calling for a 16 percent increase in domestic programs as he tries to harness the government’s power to reverse what officials called a decade of underinvestment in the nation’s most pressing issues.

The proposed $1.52 trillion in spending on discretionary programs would significantly bolster education, health research and fighting climate change. It comes on top of Mr. Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus package and a separate plan to spend $2.3 trillion on the nation’s infrastructure.

Mr. Biden’s first spending proposal to Congress showcases his belief that expanding, not shrinking, the federal government is crucial to economic growth and prosperity. It would direct billions of dollars toward reducing inequities in housing and education, as well as making sure every government agency puts climate change at the front of its agenda.

It does not include tax proposals, economic projections or so-called mandatory programs like Social Security, which will all be included in a formal budget document the White House will release this spring. And it does not reflect the spending called for in Mr. Biden’s infrastructure plan or other efforts he has yet to roll out, which are aimed at workers and families.

Trump administration’s efforts to gut domestic programs.

But Mr. Biden’s plan, while incomplete as a budget, could provide a blueprint for Democrats who narrowly control the House and Senate and are anxious to reassert their spending priorities after four years of a Republican White House.

Democratic leaders in Congress hailed the plan on Friday and suggested they would incorporate it into government spending bills for the 2022 fiscal year. The plan “proposes long overdue and historic investments in jobs, worker training, schools, food security, infrastructure and housing,” said Senator Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont, the chairman of the Appropriations Committee.

Shalanda D. Young, who is serving as Mr. Biden’s acting budget director, told congressional leaders that the discretionary spending process would be an “important opportunity to continue laying a stronger foundation for the future and reversing a legacy of chronic disinvestment in crucial priorities.”

The administration is focusing on education spending in particular, seeing that as a way to help children escape poverty. Mr. Biden asked Congress to bolster funding to high-poverty schools by $20 billion, which it describes as the largest year-over-year increase to the Title I program since its inception under President Lyndon B. Johnson. The program provides funding for schools that have high numbers of students from low-income families, most often by providing remedial programs and support staff.

The plan also seeks billions of dollars in increases to early-childhood education, to programs serving students with disabilities and to efforts to staff schools with nurses, counselors and mental health professionals — described as an attempt to help children recover from the pandemic, but also a longstanding priority for teachers’ unions.

Mr. Biden heralded the education funding in remarks to reporters at the White House. “The data shows that it puts a child from a household that is a lower-income household in a position if they start school — not day care — but school at 3 and 4 years old, there’s overwhelming evidence that they will compete all the way through high school and beyond,” he said.

There is no talk in the plans of tying federal dollars to accountability measures for teachers and schools, as they often were under President Barack Obama.

his vision of having every cabinet chief, whether they are military leaders, diplomats, fiscal regulators or federal housing planners, charged with incorporating climate change into their missions.

The proposal aims to embed climate programs into agencies that are not usually seen as at the forefront of tackling global warming, like the Agriculture and Labor Departments. That money would be in addition to clean energy spending in Mr. Biden’s proposed infrastructure legislation, which would pour about $500 billion on programs such as increasing electric vehicle production and building climate-resilient roads and bridges.

Strategic National Stockpile, the country’s emergency medical reserve, for supplies and efforts to restructure it that began last year. Nearly $7 billion would create an agency meant to research diseases like cancer and diabetes.

Reporting was contributed by Coral Davenport, Zolan Kanno-Youngs, Lisa Friedman, Brad Plumer, Christopher Flavelle, Mark Walker, Dana Goldstein, Mark Walker, Noah Weiland, Margot Sanger-Katz, Lara Jakes, Noam Scheiber, Katie Benner and Emily Cochrane.

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Homelessness: AHF Says ‘L.A. Is a City That Doesn’t Work’ in New L.A. Times Ad

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Housing justice advocates from AHF and its housing advocacy arm, Housing Is A Human Right (HHR), will run a new advocacy ad in the Los Angeles Times focusing on the years-long failed approaches by City and County officials to the homeless and housing affordability crises in Los Angeles. The ad suggests swift, system-wide overhauls that could result in more effective and faster solutions to the ongoing—and sadly increasing—problem. It is set to run this Sunday, March 14, 2021.

Provocatively headlined “L.A. Is a City That Doesn’t Work,” the full-page, four-color newspaper ad takes the form of an old, yellowed newspaper from a bygone era with the banner: “Housing News.” The ad also features a present day photo of an overflowing, trash strewn tent encampment, and a sub-headline asks, “How Did Homelessness Get This Bad?”

The ad notes:

“Los Angeles was once a City we could be proud of, but the lack of leadership and a clear path forward has left us with a humanitarian crisis of epic proportions.”

It also identifies behaviors and actions that became roadblocks to mounting a truly effective region-wide response to the crisis, including:

However, AHF’s homeless advocacy ad is not solely intended to criticize the status quo of our homeless response. The advocates also suggest concrete, sometimes very basic actions that could help improve the regional response throughout Greater Los Angeles. Among these ideas:

Last week (Sunday, March 7, 2021) AHF ran another full-page Los Angeles Times ad celebrating its Healthy Housing Foundation (HHF). HHF, which launched in late 2017 and is the housing production arm of AHF, provides decent housing units at an affordable cost to low-income people, including families with children, and those previously unsheltered or homeless. That advocacy ad, headlined “AHF’s Family of Housing,” was a brightly colored collage of old photos and renderings of several of the older hotels and motels that AHF has purchased over the past three-and-a-half years to refurbish and repurpose as extremely-low-income housing. Since 2017, AHF has purchased nine old SRO hotels and motels in Greater Los Angeles and created nearly 900 housing units.

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