Last week, President Biden released his Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 Budget request to Congress to strengthen the economy, address longstanding racial disparities, and ensure a more equitable future for our children. This enormous budget proposal comes on the heels of the recently introduced American Jobs Plan and the American Families Plan, legislative and appropriations proposals to reinvest in our communities, children, and families for the future.
While Congress ultimately decides how and where to spend money through the budget and appropriations processes, the President’s yearly budget request helps inform and outline each administration’s moral and funding priorities. Below is a summary of how the President’s FY22 Budget request impacts our children and families:
The American Jobs Plan:
- $400 billion to support the care economy including expanding access to home and community-based services under Medicaid;
- $318 billion to build and improve affordable and sustainable housing, including $45 billion for the Housing Trust Fund;
- $137 billion to increase and upgrade public schools, early learning centers, and community colleges;
- $111 billion to ensure clean, safe drinking water in all communities;
- $100 billion to increase access to high-speed broadband;
- $300 billion for manufacturing and small businesses and $100 billion for workforce development; and
- $621 billion for transportation infrastructure and $100 billion for electric infrastructure.
The American Families Plan:
- Extension of the expanded Child Tax Credit (CTC) through 2025 and making it available for families with little or no income;
- $225 billion to ensure families have access to affordable child care;
- $9 billion to train, equip, and diversify our teachers to support our students;
- Expanded access to higher education including funding to ensure two years of tuition-free community college, to increase the maximum Pell grant, to support student retention and college completion strategies, and to ensure two years of subsidized tuition for students from families earning less than $125,000 to attend HBCUs and other MSIs;
- $45 billion for nutrition assistance, including a permanent expansion of the summer EBT program, an expansion of the school meal programs, and a lift on the egregious and racist lifetime ban on SNAP assistance for individuals previously convicted of a drug offense;
- Permanent extension of the Affordable Care Act’s premium subsidies;
- $225 billion for a national paid family and medical leave program that includes 12 weeks of paid leave, three days of bereavement leave, replacement of a minimum of two-thirds of a worker’s average weekly wage, and a recommendation to pass the Healthy Families Act to ensure seven days of paid sick leave; and
- Permanent expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) to help lift more people out of poverty.
- $36.5 billion investment in high-poverty schools, which is a $20 billion increase from the 2021 enacted level;
- $6.5 billion to launch Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) to drive innovation in health research;
- $100 million in new competitive grants to advance racial equity in the child welfare system and reduce unnecessary child removals and a 30 percent increase in funding for state and local child abuse prevention programs;
- $100 million to establish a new program to close youth prisons and prioritize community-based alternatives to youth incarceration;
- $10.7 billion investment to support research, prevention, treatment, and recovery support services to address the opioid epidemic, a $3.9 billion increase from the 2021 enacted level;
- $14 billion in additional funding to restore the capacity to tackle climate change and secure environmental justice;
- $2.1 billion for the Department of Justice to address the gun violence public health crisis by improving background check systems and incentivizing states to adopt gun licensing laws and establish voluntary gun buyback pilot programs;
- $30.4 billion for Housing Choice Vouchers – expanding vital housing assistance to 200,000 more families – and $500 million for Homeless Assistance Grants to support more than 100,000 households;
- Significant increases for civil rights offices and activities across the federal government;
- $1 billion in funding for the DOJ Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) programs to support those impacted by domestic violence;
- Resources to rebuild the damaged refugee admissions program and support up to 125,000 admissions in 2022, address root causes of irregular migration, and reduce court backlogs;
- $3.2 billion to care for children who arrive at the border unaccompanied, in alignment with child welfare best practices; and
- $2.2 billion increase in funding for the Indian Health Services (IHS) and $900 million to fund tribal efforts to expand affordable housing, improve housing conditions, and increase economic opportunities for low-income families in tribal nations.
Budgets are moral documents, reflecting our values and priorities. We must prioritize the health, education, well-being, and stability of our children and families. Earlier this year, we released The State of America’s Children 2021, which made it clear that even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, we were failing to provide our children with even the most basic building blocks for success. The COVID-19 pandemic has only heightened long-standing racial and economic disparities. Now, after a year marked by such dramatic change and drastic negative impact on children’s lives, we need meaningful investments in supports for children and families. President Biden’s FY22 budget request starts to do just that.
Find more information about the President’s Budget for FY 2022 here.