NATIONAL NEWS

Biden’s budget proposal for a second term offers tax breaks for families and lower health care costs

Mar 11, 2024, 2:03 AM | Updated: 1:46 pm

MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — President Joe Biden on Monday released a budget proposal aimed at getting voters’ attention: It would offer tax breaks for families, lower health care costs, smaller deficits and higher taxes on the wealthy and corporations.

Unlikely to pass the House and Senate to become law, the proposal for fiscal 2025 is an election year blueprint about what the future could hold if Biden and enough of his fellow Democrats win in November. The president and his aides previewed parts of his budget going into last week’s State of the Union address, and they provided the fine print on Monday.

If the Biden budget became law, deficits could be pruned $3 trillion over a decade. It would raise tax revenues by a total of $4.9 trillion over that period and use roughly $1.9 trillion to fund various programs, with the rest going to deficit reduction.

The president traveled Monday to Manchester, New Hampshire, where he called on Congress to apply his $2,000 cap on drug costs and $35 insulin to everyone, not just people who have Medicare. He also advocated for making permanent some protections in the Affordable Care Act that are set to expire next year.

“I’m here in New Hampshire to talk about the budget I released today that would, I think, help in a big way,” Biden said.

Biden aides said their budget was realistic and detailed while rival measures from Republicans were not financially viable.

“Congressional Republicans don’t tell you what they cut, who they harm,” White House budget director Shalanda Young said. “The president is transparent, details every way he shows he values the America people.”

House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-Louisiana, issued a joint statement with other GOP leaders calling the Biden proposal a “glaring reminder of this Administration’s insatiable appetite for reckless spending.”

“Biden’s budget doesn’t just miss the mark — it is a roadmap to accelerate America’s decline,” the House Republican leaders said.

Under the proposal, the government would spend $7.3 trillion next fiscal year and borrow $1.8 trillion to cover the shortfall from tax receipts. Biden’s 188-page plan covers a decade’s worth of spending, taxes and debt.

Parents could get an increased child tax credit in 2025, as payments would return briefly to the 2021 level funded by Biden’s coronavirus pandemic relief package. Homebuyers could get a tax credit worth up to $10,000 and $10 billion in down payment aid for first-generation buyers. Corporate taxes would jump upward, while billionaires would be charged a minimum tax of 25%.

Biden said in his State of the Union that Medicare should have the ability to negotiate prices on 500 prescription drugs, which could save $200 billion over 10 years. Aides said his budget does not specify how many drug prices would be subject to negotiations.

Biden’s plan would permanently keep Medicare solvent, according to aides, but as noted by Maya MacGuineas, president of the fiscal group Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, it does not appear to fix Social Security, which projections say will be unable to pay full benefits starting in 2033.

The proposal would provide about $900 billion for defense in fiscal 2025, about $16 billion more than the baseline.

The Biden administration is still seeking money to help Ukraine defend itself against Russia and aid for Israel. His budget plan reiterates the supplemental funding request made last October for Ukraine, Israel and humanitarian relief for Palestinians

It’s also requesting funding to expand personnel and resources at the U.S. southern border. Still, military spending over 10 years would decline $146 billion to $9.57 trillion.

One key theme in the budget plan is an effort to help families afford their basic needs, as the impact of inflation hitting a four-decade high in 2022 continues to leave many voters feeling as though they’re worse off under Biden.

The budget proposal includes $258 billion to help build or preserve 2 million homes, helping to address a national shortage that has kept housing prices high. Parents making under $200,000 annually would have access to child care, with most eligible families paying no more than $10 a day.

It would eliminate origination fees on government student loans, possibly saving borrowers $1,000 over the life of the debt. It also includes $12 billion to help universities develop strategies for reducing their costs.

All of this is a chance for Biden to try to define the race on his preferred terms, just as the all-but-certain Republican nominee, Donald Trump, wants to rally voters around his agenda.

Trump, for his part, would like to increase tariffs and pump out gushers of oil. He called for a “second phase” of tax cuts as parts of his 2017 overhaul of the income tax code would expire after 2025. The Republican has also said he would slash government regulations. He has also pledged to pay down the national debt, though it’s unclear how without him detailing severe spending cuts.

In a Monday interview with CNBC, Trump indicated that he would be willing to reduce spending for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, though he did not offer a full policy.

“There is a lot you can do in terms of entitlements, in terms of cutting,” Trump said.

The interview drew Biden’s attention, prompting him to tell the audience in New Hampshire that cuts were off the table: “The bottom line is he’s still at it. I’m never going to allow that to happen.”

House Republicans on Thursday voted their own budget resolution for the next fiscal year out of committee, saying it would trim deficits by $14 trillion over 10 years. But their measure would depend on rosy economic forecasts and sharp spending cuts, reducing $8.7 trillion in Medicare and Medicaid expenditures. Biden has pledged to stop any cuts to Medicare.

Meanwhile, Congress is still working on a budget for the current fiscal year. On Saturday, Biden signed into law a $460 billion package to avoid a shutdown of several federal agencies, but lawmakers are only about halfway through addressing spending for this fiscal year.

___

Boak reported from Washington. Associated Press writer Colleen Long in Washington also contributed to this report.

National News

Associated Press

Sweltering temperatures persist across the US, while floodwaters inundate the Midwest

Millions of Americans sweated through a scorching weekend as temperatures soared across the U.S., while residents were rescued from floodwaters that forced evacuations across the Midwest. One person was killed during flooding in South Dakota, the governor said. From the mid-Atlantic to Maine, across the Great Lakes region, and throughout the West to California, public […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

3 Columbia University administrators put on leave over alleged text exchange at antisemitism panel

NEW YORK (AP) — Columbia University said it has placed three administrators on leave while it investigates allegations that they exchanged unprofessional text messages while attending a panel discussion about antisemitism on campus. The university said the administrators work for its undergraduate Columbia College, which hosted the panel discussion “Jewish Life on Campus: Past, Present […]

8 hours ago

Associated Press

Man charged in shooting that critically wounded Philadelphia officer, police say

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A 36-year-old Philadelphia man was charged Sunday with attempted murder in connection with a shooting that critically wounded a police officer after a traffic stop, police said. Ramon Rodriguez Vazquez also faces charges that include aggravated assault and home invasion, police said. The 31-year-old officer and his partner stopped a car carrying […]

9 hours ago

Associated Press

California boy, 4, who disappeared from campground found safe after 22 hours alone in wilderness

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — A 4-year-old California boy who wandered away from a campground in the Sierra National Forest was found safe after spending 22 hours alone in the wilderness, authorities said. A search-and-rescue team of about 50 officers and volunteers set out around 11 a.m. Thursday after the child was reported missing from the […]

11 hours ago

Associated Press

One man died and five others were hospitalized in downtown St. Louis shooting

ST. LOUIS (AP) — One man is dead and five others have been wounded in a downtown St. Louis shooting, police said. Police believe women were fighting in a park when men stepped in and drew firearms, according to a statement from St. Louis police. The man who died likely was in his mid-twenties and […]

11 hours ago

Associated Press

Michigan sheriff’s deputy fatally shot pursuing a stolen vehicle in Detroit

DETROIT (AP) — A Michigan county sheriff’s deputy was fatally shot while pursing a suspected stolen vehicle in Detroit, the Oakland County sheriff’s office said Sunday. Bradley J. Reckling, who was on duty in an unmarked car, was following a 2022 Chevy Equinox Saturday evening after the vehicle was reported stolen earlier in the day […]

12 hours ago

Biden’s budget proposal for a second term offers tax breaks for families and lower health care costs