Government affairs

Legislative Updates

White House releases Fiscal Year 2024 budget proposal

On March 9, the Biden administration released its Fiscal Year 2024 (FY 24) budget proposal. The $6.9 trillion budget request calls for $809 billion in discretionary spending, a $49.2 billion increase from Fiscal Year 2023 (FY 23), and $886.4 billion in defense spending, a $28 billion increase from FY 23. The proposal aims to reduce the national deficit by $2.9 trillion over the next decade.

In contrast with budget proposals released by the former administration, the FY 24 budget does not include cuts to programs that govern the retirement and health benefits of postal and federal employees.

Notably, the proposal calls for at least 12 weeks of paid family and medi-cal leave per worker and urges Con-gress to guarantee at least seven sick days. It also calls for reinstating the child care tax credit of $3,600 per child under 6 years of age and $3,000 per child 6 and older. This would restore the amounts enacted under the Ameri-can Rescue Plan Act in March 2021, which marked a raise from $2,000 per child of either age group. The increases expired in December 2021.
The budget calls for $90 billion for the Department of Education, a $10.8 billion increase from FY 23. This includes $500 million in grants for free community college and increased funding for expanding free pre-K. The proposal also includes $15.1 billion for the Department of Labor, a nearly $1.5 billion increase from FY 23. This includes funding to improve the unemployment insurance program and to increase worker protections through increased funding for the Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration and its Wage and Hour Division. The budget calls for $137.9 billion for the Department of Veterans Affairs, a $3 billion increase from FY 23.

The budget request would offset spending and aim to preserve Medicare by increasing taxes for corporations and the highest-earning Americans. The proposal calls for those making $400,000 or more to pay a 5 percent tax on all investment and business incomes and an additional 5 percent Medicare tax. Additionally, it calls for a minimum 25 percent tax rate on the 0.01 percent of America’s top earners, raising an estimated $436 billion. Also, it calls for a 4 percent tax on stock buybacks, raising an estimated $237 billion.

The presidential budget proposal is released annually and reflects the administration’s priorities. It must be reviewed and approved by members of Congress, who control the budget and appropriations process. With a divided Congress, various provisions included in the budget request are unlikely to advance. The House Republican caucus has announced that it will release a budget proposal in the coming weeks. It is expected to contrast starkly with President Biden’s proposal.

NALC will update letter carriers as the House and Senate begin their budget considerations.

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