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Biden’s first budget asks for $715 billion for Pentagon, naming China as top challenge

Jacob Knutson

WASHINGTON DC: The Biden administration unveiled its first budget proposal to Congress on Friday, offering a glimpse into President Biden’s policy agenda for the 2022 fiscal year.

Why it matters: The $1.52 trillion budget proposal outlines top-line figures for Biden’s major priorities, though it will ultimately be up to Congress to begin the lengthy appropriations process and allocate funding to federal agencies.

Driving the news: Biden is asking Congress for $715 billion for the Department of Defense in part to “counter the threat from China,” which the proposal names as the Pentagon’s “top challenge.”

By the numbers:

Department of Agriculture: $27.8 billion, up 16% from 2021

$1.7 billion to address the threat of wildfires, up $476 million from 2021

$6.7 billion for nutrition programs like food stamps, up $1 billion from 2021

Department of Commerce: $11.4 billion, up 28% from 2021

$442 million for programs supporting domestic manufacturing, more than double 2021

Department of Defense: $715 billion, up 1.5% from 2021

Goals include deterring China and Russia, modernizing nuclear deterrent, promoting climate resilience, countering emerging biological threats.

Department of Education: $29.8 billion, up 41% from 2021

$36.5 billion for Title I grant to students in high-poverty schools, up $20 billion from 2021

$15.5 billion to support children with disabilities

Increases the maximum Pell grant by $400 and increases funding for HBCU’s and low-resourced institutions by over $600 million

Department of Energy: $46.1 billion, up 10.2% from 2021

$1.9 billion for clean energy projects

Department of Health and Human Services: $131.7 billion, up 23.5% from 2021

$8.7 billion for the CDC, up $1.6 billion from 2021

$10.7 billion to help end the opioid epidemic, up $3.9 billion from 2021

$1.6 billion mental health block grants, more than double 2021 levels

$4.3 billion for Office of Refugee Resettlement

$489 million for domestic violence survivors, more than double 2021 levels

Department of Homeland Security: $52 billion, about equal to 2021

$1.2 billion for border infrastructure

$2.1 billion for cyber agency, up $110 million from 2021

$131 million to address domestic terrorism, complementing DOJ

Department of Housing and Urban Development: $68.7 billion, up 15% from 2021

$30.4 billion for housing vouchers and to help address homelessness

Department of the Interior: $17.4 billion, up 16% from 2021

$4 billion to fund tribal programs, up $600 million from 2021

$340 million to address wildfires

Department of Justice: $35.2 billion, up 5.3% from 2021

$209 million for civil rights enforcement, up $33 million from 2021

$2.1 billion for combating gun violence, up $232 million from 2021

$1.2 billion for community policing programs, up $304 million from 2021

Department of Labor: $14.2 billion, up 14% from 2021

$2.1 billion for worker protection agencies, up $304 million from 2021

Department of State and other international programs: $63.5 billion, up 12% from 2021

$861 million for Central American aid, with four-year commitment of $4 billion

Department of Transportation: $25.6 billion, up 14% from 2021

$625 million for new passenger rail

Department of Treasury: $14.9 billion, up 10.6% from 2021

Department of Veterans Affairs: $113.1 billion, up 8.2% from 2021

$97.5 billion for VA Medical Care, up 8.5% from 2021

$542 million for veteran suicide prevention, up nearly $230 million from 2021

The big picture: In total, the administration asked for $769 billion in non-defense spending, a 16% increase from the budget adopted for fiscal year 2021, and $753 billion in national defense programs — almost a 2% increase.

The budget proposal includes major new climate investments totaling $14 billion more than 2021 levels across nearly every agency.

What they’re saying: “This moment of crisis is also a moment of possibility,” wrote OMB Acting Director Shalanda Young in a letter to leaders of the House and Senate Appropriations and Budget Committees.

“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.”

“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,” Shalanda Young added.