WASHINGTON—President Biden will ask Congress to approve $1.52 trillion in discretionary federal spending next year, including increased outlays on education, healthcare, research and renewable energy, part of a concerted effort to boost nondefense spending as a share of the economy.
The request would increase base discretionary spending by 8.4%, or $118 billion, from the $1.4 trillion authorized in fiscal 2021, the White House said Friday. That figure excludes emergency measures authorized last year to combat the Covid-19 pandemic. Discretionary spending is the part of the budget that Congress can shape through the annual appropriations process.
The bulk of that increase reflects higher nondefense spending, which would rise 16% next year, to $769.4 billion from $663.7 billion under current levels. Spending on the military and other defense programs would increase a more modest 1.7%, to $753 billion from $740 billion, much less than Republicans are likely to support but more than called for by progressives, who pushed for cuts during the Trump administration and hope for large nondefense increases.
The proposal reflects many of the spending priorities Mr. Biden emphasized during his campaign, including more money for high-poverty schools, cancer research and investments to combat climate change.
The preliminary request outlines the president’s top-line spending priorities for fiscal year 2022, which begins on Oct. 1. The initial fiscal blueprint will be followed later this spring by a full budget proposal that includes more details on the president’s priorities, including mandatory spending and tax proposals, and the impact on deficits, debt and the economy over the next decade.
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