Home Politics The president’s budget and the battle ahead

The president’s budget and the battle ahead


By Molly E Reynolds

For several decades the president’s budget has been described as “dead on arrival” in Congress, with both budget watchers and members of Congress alike describing it as such since at least the mid-1980s. This week, President Biden released his budget for fiscal year 2024, and the reaction from GOP House members was no different.

In spite of Republican pledges to pass individual spending bills this year, narrow majorities and high polarization in both chambers mean conditions are, once again, ripe for temporary continuing resolutions and/or an omnibus spending package at year’s end. Divided government also presents a major obstacle to action on some of the proposals in the president’s budget, like universal pre-kindergarten for four-year-olds, guaranteed paid family and medical leave, an expanded child tax credit, and expanding aid for community college students; indeed, Democrats struggled to enact some of these initiatives when they enjoyed unified party control of Washington during Biden’s first two years in office.

That does not mean, of course, that preparing and releasing it is a waste of time and resources. Within the executive branch, developing the proposal requires making…

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