By Kendyl Brower
“The House of Representatives is taking a significant step toward making a historic investment that is going to transform America” remarks President Joe Biden in regards to the $3.5 trillion budget bluprint just approved by the House in a 220-212 vote. Such a framework would expand social and environmental programs, major aspects of Biden’s domestic agenda. The passage of this blueprint on August 24 permits the process of reconciliation: If all 50 Democratic senators back the package, it can pass without Republican support.
While the bipartisan $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill is set to fund roads, bridges, airports, waterways, transit, and more, the Democrats see the $3.5 trillion budget plan as the real showstopper. Though lawmakers are still working out the specificities, Democrats claim to include the following legislation.
- $726 billion for the Health, Labor, Education, and Pensions Committee: the framework will include universal preschool for 3 and 4 year olds, child care for working families, tuition-free community college, funding for HBCUs, and an expansion of the Pell Grant for higher education.
- $107 billion for the Judiciary Committee: lawmakers hope to address lawful permanent status for qualified immigrants.
- $135 billion for the Committee on Agriculture Nutrition and Forestry: this funding aims to combat forest fires, reduce carbon emissions, and address drought concerns.
- $332 billion for the Banking Committee: this invests in public housing, the Housing Trust Fund, and affordable and equitable housing.
- $198 billion for the Energy and Natural Resources Committee: lawmakers dedicate money toward clean energy development.
- $67 billion for the Environment and Public Works Committee: the budget provides for low-income solar and climate-friendly technologies.
- $1.8 trillion for the Finance Committee: the bill includes a tax cut for Americans making less than $400,000 a year, lowers the price of prescription drugs, and ensures large corporations are paying their taxes.
- $37 billion for the HSGAC Committee: this would improve cybersecurity infrastructure, reinforce border management, invest in green materials, and rehabilitate federal buildings.
- $20.5 billion for the Indian Affairs Committee: congress hopes to address health, education, housing, energy, resilience, BIA, Native language, and climate programs for Native Americans.
- $25 billion for the Small Business Committee: lawmakers wish to provide credit, investment, and markets to small businesses.
- $83 billion for the Commerce Committee: this invests in technology, transportation, research, manufacturing, and economic development. It also accounts for healthy ocean investments.
- $18 billion for the Veteran Affairs Committee: the funding here improves veteran facilities.
The House aims to finish the budget plan by September 27. If the package is not ready, Democrats may have to vote on the smaller, bipartisan bill, lessening their ambitious budget plan.