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Biden's 6-trln-USD budget plan draws mixed reviews from lawmakers, budget watchers
Last Updated: 2021-05-30 08:40 | Xinhua
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U.S. President Joe Biden's 6-trillion-U.S.-dollar budget proposal for fiscal year 2022 has drawn mixed reviews from lawmakers and budget watchers, setting the stage for potentially heated debate in Congress.

The proposal, which included Biden's plan to increase investment in infrastructure, education, health care and beyond, would push federal spending to the highest sustained levels in decades.

The budget unveiled Friday calls for total spending to run above 6 trillion dollars throughout the next decade, and rise to 8.2 trillion dollars by fiscal year 2031. Deficits, meanwhile, would stay above 1.3 trillion dollars in the next 10 years.

"The budget invests directly in the American people and will strengthen our nation's economy and improve our long-run fiscal health," Biden said in his message to Congress.

Biden argued that the budget plan reforms America's "broken tax code" to reward work instead of wealth, while also fully paying for the American Jobs Plan and the American Families Plan over 15 years, referring to the revised 1.7-trillion-dollar infrastructure plan and the 1.8-trillion-dollar spending proposal focusing on childcare and education.

"It will help us build a recovery that is broad-based, inclusive, sustained, and strong," the president said.

The White House's budget proposal sparked praise and criticism among lawmakers, whose views are largely divided along party lines.

"President Biden's budget is an unequivocal declaration of the value that Democrats place on America's workers and middle class families, who are the foundation of our nation's strength and the key to Build Back Better," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement, noting that the Biden budget makes "historic" investments in the American workforce and economy.

"Congressional Democrats look forward to working with the Biden-Harris Administration to enact this visionary budget, which will pave the path to opportunity and prosperity for our nation," said the Democratic leader.

Richard Neal, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, said committee Democrats will consider the administration's proposals carefully. Bernie Sanders, chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, said the committee will soon be holding a hearing on the president's budget "as a first step."

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, meanwhile, lashed out at the budget plan, arguing that "Americans are already hurting from far-left economics that ignore reality."

"So far the Biden Administration has recommended we spend 7 trillion additional dollars this year," the Republican leader said on Twitter. "That would be more than we spent during World War II."

"Democrats need to get their runaway spending habits under control," McConnell said.

Republican lawmakers have previously lashed out at Biden's multi-trillion-dollar spending proposals, calling them "liberal daydream," and arguing that the tax hikes would lower wages, kill jobs and shrink the U.S. economy.

The budget proposal for fiscal year 2022 was released as recent negotiations over Biden's infrastructure plan failed to yield a deal.

The White House last week lowered the overall price tag of Biden's 2.3-trillion-dollar infrastructure plan to 1.7 trillion dollars, but Senate Republicans then proposed a 928-billion-dollar counteroffer, just over half of Biden's revised figure.

Outside Capitol Hill, the newly unveiled budget plan also prompted heated discussion.

"Having followed Presidents' budgets for >40 years, I think it's fair to say that while I might modify some things in the new Biden budget, it would, if enacted, do more to reduce poverty and inequality than any other budget in modern US history," Bob Greenstein, founder of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, said on Twitter.

"We are pleased that President Biden has put forward important details of his budget plan, that his economic assumptions are reasonable, and that he is proposing to offset new costs over time while modestly reducing long-term deficits," said the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a watchdog group.

The group, however, argued that the budget adds "too much" to already record-level debt over the next decade and "does far too little" to address rising structural deficits over the long term.

According to the group's estimation, U.S. debt would rise from 100 percent of GDP at the end of fiscal year 2020 and a record 110 percent at the end of 2021 to 117 percent by the end of fiscal year 2031. In nominal dollars, debt would grow by 17 trillion dollars, to over 39 trillion by the end of fiscal year 2031.

The Peter G. Peterson Foundation, also a fiscal watchdog group, said in a statement that the administration proposes increasing revenues to cover the cost of their longer-term initiatives; "however, those costs would not be fully offset during the traditional 10-year window, rather over a 15-year period."

"The underlying structural imbalance between revenues and spending that existed before the pandemic budget would remain, leaving an unsustainable fiscal outlook," the foundation said.

(Editor:Fu Bo)

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Biden's 6-trln-USD budget plan draws mixed reviews from lawmakers, budget watchers
Source:Xinhua | 2021-05-30 08:40
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