Biden's budget hits Capitol Hill as lawmakers play spending catch-up

President Joe Biden plans to send his budget blueprint for annual spending and revenue to Congress on Monday, while lawmakers are struggling to finalize spending bills nearly halfway through the fiscal year.

It’s an odd juxtaposition. The president’s wish list is for the next fiscal year, while Capitol Hill is still tied up with the last one. The president’s budget is due the first Monday in February. But with Congress so behind on finalizing fiscal 2024 spending, it was pushed back.

Biden’s budget will outline the president’s priorities, but a divided Congress won’t be using it as a blueprint. Instead, they’ll view it as a vague guide for what the president might consent to.

On Tuesday, Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young is scheduled to testify before the Senate Budget Committee about the president’s budget plan.

Where will it be used as a blueprint? The campaign trail. The president’s pitch for lower health care costs, tax breaks for families, smaller deficits and higher taxes on the wealthy and corporations will be central to his bid for a second term as he tries to rally Democrats around his agenda.

But for Congress, the real task at hand is a batch of the next six spending bills — the tougher ones to find compromise on. The next deadline is March 22, when lawmakers need to have a deal cleared through both chambers on Defense, Homeland Security, Labor-HHS, Financial Services, Legislative Branch, and State and Foreign Operations spending.

Last week, House Republicans voted on their own budget resolution for fiscal 2025 in committee. It would reduce $8.7 trillion in Medicare and Medicaid expenditures — cuts which Biden has pledged to stop.

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