President Joe Biden’s newly released $5.8 trillion budget for fiscal year 2023 refers to “equity,” or uses synonymous terms, over 100 times, as his administration continues to push an agenda critics say is anything but moderate.
The plan came out on Monday. It seeks to “advance equity” in dozens of government agencies, like by appropriating $48 million for a “more equitable National Park System.” Similarly, the budget would appropriate $2.6 billion to the Department of State to “advance gender equity,” and $1.5 billion to the Environmental Protection Agency to “advance racial equity, and secure environmental justice for communities.”
Biden’s budget aims to embed “equity as a priority across the Federal Government” in a systematic fashion to address “barriers to opportunity” for Americans. “When the President took office, the United States was confronting overlapping crises of unprecedented scope and scale: a once-in-a-century pandemic; a sharp economic downturn; an accelerating climate crisis; and a legacy of persistent inequity,” the proposal states.
Clocking in at 158 pages, the budget has been described by left-leaning outlets as “center-leaning” and a “peace offering.” Republicans have argued against this sentiment, like House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who called the proposal “as unserious as it is blind to the issues facing everyday Americans.”
Speaking to The Daily Wire, Texas Republican Rep. Pete Sessions said Biden is continuing in the path of other Democrat presidents in pushing an agenda aimed at expanding the size of government for unpopular agendas.
“The language is very similar” to the agenda by former President Barack Obama, Sessions said in an interview. “It is the language that America unilaterally rejects and will reject.”
As The Daily Wire reported on Tuesday, the budget notably earmarks more than $11 billion for climate spending in other countries. In total, the White House is calling for $44.9 billion to be allocated toward tackling the “climate crisis,” which would be a $16.7 billion increase from 2021 climate spending.
The proposal comes amid 40-year high inflation that Americans are particularly concerned about. According to a Gallup poll released this week, roughly one in five citizens say the high cost of living and inflation, as well as fuel prices, are the “most important problem facing the U.S. today.” Economists wrote in Bloomberg News on Tuesday that average U.S. households will spend $5,200 more this year.
“Longer term, current mentions of inflation as the nation’s most important problem are the highest Gallup has recorded since 1985,” Gallup said. “Still, they are well below the extraordinarily high percentages, reaching 52%, found in the early 1980s, when inflation was still elevated after a period of ‘stagflation’ in the 1970s.”
In terms of equity, Biden’s proposal also allocates $20 million to the Department of Transportation “to promote equity and inclusion” and derail against “the effects of structural obstacles to building wealth.” There is also roughly $400 million earmarked for federal science and technology programs so they can make “use of scientific and technological innovation to advance equitable outcomes.”