It’s one of JOE BIDEN’s most oft-repeated catchphrases: “Don’t tell me what you value; show me your budget, and I’ll tell you what you value.”
On Friday afternoon, Biden showed us his budget. Here’s what it tells us about what his White House values — and the signals it sends about where he’s willing to spend the most political capital.
— Overall: Biden is proposing a $6 trillion budget next year, with huge increases in domestic spending. Read Caitlin Emma’s walkthrough of the budget
— Domestic spending: The budget makes good on some of the promises Biden made on the campaign trail — which many activists and allies were getting antsy about — with massive investments in combating climate change and a range of domestic programs aimed at both the middle class and people living in poverty. Included in the $6 trillion budget:
- $2.3 trillion for infrastructure, including $115B for roads and bridges, $174B for electric vehicles, $85B to modernize transit, $111B on drinking water infrastructure and $100B to expand high-speed broadband access.
- $1.8 trillion for Biden’s “families plan,” including $200B for universal free pre-K, $109B for free community college, $85B in Pell Grants, $225B for child care and $225B for a national paid family medical leave program.
- $1.5 trillion in discretionary spending, including major increases for the Education Dept., Health and Human Services, Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development.
— Taxes: Biden’s plan includes $3.6 trillion in tax increases for corporations and wealthy individuals. NYT’s Alan Rappaport puts it like this: “Starting at the end of 2021, the top individual income tax rate would rise to 39.6 percent from 37 percent, reversing the Trump administration’s tax cuts for the highest income taxpayers.” More on that from the NYT
— Deficits and debt: Even with those tax increases, Biden’s budget would run a $1.8 trillion deficit next year. Over the next decade, the federal debt would exceed the size of the entire U.S. economy — growing to 117% of GDP by 2031.
Another important aspect of a White House budget proposal: It starts the clock on the Hill, so be on the lookout for what changes they decide to make because they will be there.
— Remember, y’all: If Democrats want to pass bills through reconciliation (which, behind the scenes, they admit they do) then a budget resolution must be passed to allow that to happen.
Here are three interesting reads if you want to understand the budget and some of the political fights we can expect to see soon:
— First, our very own money man Ben White takes a look at the budget’s projections for economic growth. One word to describe it: tepid.
“The budget plan the White House unveiled on Friday projects economic growth of 2 percent or less per year for most of the next decade, after factoring in inflation. That’s not much different than the sluggish pace the U.S. endured in the decade after the financial crisis and Great Recession, a disappointing economic performance that damaged BARACK OBAMA’s presidency.
“So where is the ‘Build Back Better’ economic revolution that Biden and White House officials have talked up in recent weeks in selling their plans to spend roughly $4 trillion on the infrastructure and on family programs?
“Some analysts suggested that the administration is essentially admitting that its proposed surge in federal spending — which administration officials hope to offset over time with higher taxes on the rich and corporations — won’t actually boost the economy much at all.” More on that from Ben
— At WaPo, Colby Itkowitz notes that Biden’s budget plan “made official his opposition to the Hyde Amendment, a decades-old ban on federal funding for abortions that he long supported before reversing his stance during the presidential campaign.” As Itkowitz notes, the request “is not binding and requires Congress to also agree not to include it,” so you can expect to see some debate on this front coming soon.
— And over at WSJ, Richard Rubin points out Biden’s budget would actually keep a Trump-era tax break on businesses: “Owners of closely held businesses would still get a 20% tax deduction … leaving high-income people who run construction companies and manufacturing firms benefiting — for now. … Although Mr. Biden campaigned on limiting the break, the deduction went untouched in the first $2.4 trillion worth of net tax increases that were detailed by the Biden administration on Friday.”
BIDEN’S SATURDAY: The president and VP KAMALA HARRIS have nothing on their public schedules.
THE WHITE HOUSE
WHO PRESSURE BUILDS — “Biden’s renewed focus on covid origins ramps up pressure on WHO for more aggressive investigation,” WaPo: “The U.S. initiative was partly a response on dismissive remarks about an investigation made by a Chinese official at a WHO event on Tuesday, officials said. The WHO, an overstretched United Nations agency responsible for coordinating the international response to the pandemic, is feeling the pressure. But it has few powers to investigate on its own.
“WHO emergencies chief MIKE RYAN said Friday that the organization was still consulting with an expert team that visited the virus’s initial epicenter of Wuhan, China, earlier this year about how to proceed with their investigation. All hypotheses remain open, he said.”
SANCTIONS INCOMING — “White House announces sanctions over Belarus’ passenger plane interception,” by Myah Ward: “The Biden administration on Friday night further condemned Belarus’ May 23 forced take down of a civilian airliner, calling it a ‘direct affront’ to international norms and announcing sanctions against the former Soviet republic.
“‘Belarus’s forced diversion of a commercial Ryanair flight under false pretenses, traveling between two member states of the European Union, and the subsequent removal and arrest of RAMAN PRATASEVICH, a Belarusian journalist, are a direct affront to international norms,’ White House press secretary JEN PSAKI said in a statement. ‘These events took place amid an escalating wave of repression by the Lukashenka regime against the aspirations of the people of Belarus for democracy and human rights.’”
FIRST IN PLAYBOOK — Battle Born Collective, the progressive advocacy group started by HARRY REID alum REBECCA KIRSZNER KATZ and ADAM JENTLESON, is releasing a memo to Democrats raising the alarm that time is running out on the “For the People Act” (HR1 and S1) as well as filibuster reform.
— Why it matters: Majority Leader CHUCK SCHUMER says the Senate will take up S1 in the last week of June — which is right around the corner. And Democrats are feeling the heat from the base to get something done in this space. Read the memo
MUTUAL RESENTMENT GROWS WITHIN SENATE — “‘Pretty damn scary’: Failure of Jan. 6 commission exposes Senate wounds,” by Burgess Everett and Marianne LeVine: “Democrats thought they’d given [Maine GOP Sen. SUSAN] COLLINS everything she wanted on the commission, and still she came up short of breaking a filibuster. Collins and other Republicans came away worried that [Majority Leader CHUCK] SCHUMER would rather thrash their party as obstructionist than try and get the three more votes he needed to reach the required 60. The resulting bitterness recalled the tension that’s long built up in the House, as the lingering scars of the pro-Trump Capitol attack splinter the two parties on even the most anodyne legislation.
“The Senate … has so far avoided the mutual resentment that’s taken hold on the other side of the Capitol. And the upper chamber is still on track to pass Schumer’s bipartisan China competitiveness bill. Even so, the scuttled commission vote was a microcosm of Congress’ failed efforts to move forward after Jan. 6: Two senators from opposite parties supported the same goals and briefly turned their frustrations on each other as 10 Republicans wouldn’t come on board. It doesn’t bode well for a Senate that controls much of Biden’s agenda.”
FILIBUSTER FALLOUT — “Democrats grapple with the enemy within: What to do about the filibuster rule that could kill their agenda,” WaPo: “[I]nternal tensions emerged in a Democratic caucus meeting on Wednesday afternoon during which the [upcoming voting rights] legislation was discussed, according to multiple senators who attended. … [West Virginia Sen. JOE] MANCHIN came and sat in silence inside the Capitol Hill conference room as a prominent Democratic elections lawyer, MARC ELIAS, catalogued the threats to voting rights being waged in states across the country. Then, several of Manchin’s colleagues rose and made impassioned cases for action.
“None mentioned Manchin by name, but those present knew whom they had to persuade. And the words of one particular senator — Sen. JON TESTER (D-Mont.), who also has a track record of winning in a Republican state — made a particular impression, the senators present said.”
FROM SICKNICK’S LOVED ONES — “‘All talk and no action’: Sicknick’s mother and girlfriend say they were disappointed by GOP senators,” by CNN’s Jeremy Herb: “In an exclusive interview with CNN’s JAKE TAPPER Friday, GLADYS SICKNICK and her son’s girlfriend SANDRA GARZA said they were clinging to hope that they could change the minds of senators opposed to the independent commission, but were still not surprised at the ultimate outcome.
“‘They went through their motions, but you can tell that underneath they were being nice to us,’ Sicknick said of her meetings Thursday.”
DEMS SEE AN OPENING ON HEALTH CARE — “Democrats plot Medicaid expansion backdoor in red states refusing program,” by Rachel Roubein and Susannah Luthi: “Expanding coverage to the estimated 2.2 million people lacking affordable health insurance options in the Medicaid expansion holdout states would fulfill a Biden campaign pledge while his other key health care promises, like government drug price negotiations and a public option, face tough odds in Congress. Democrats also believe it would deliver a major win for their party heading into tightly contested midterm elections next year, given that Medicaid expansion has polled well — including in states where Republican leaders have blocked it for years.
“However, the new effort carries risks that Democratic lawmakers, White House officials and health care advocates have been struggling to resolve in behind-the-scenes discussions over the past few months, say people involved in those talks. One challenge is designing a program that won’t invite backlash from a health care industry ready to battle Democrats on other sweeping changes. Another concern is inadvertently rewarding states that blocked Medicaid expansion for years. Any plan would also come with a steep price tag.”
AMERICA AND THE WORLD
YIKES — “U.S. Soldiers Expose Nuclear Weapons Secrets Via Flashcard Apps,” Bellingcat: “For U.S. soldiers tasked with the custody of nuclear weapons in Europe, the stakes are high. Security protocols are lengthy, detailed and need to be known by heart. To simplify this process, some service members have been using publicly visible flashcard learning apps — inadvertently revealing a multitude of sensitive security protocols about U.S. nuclear weapons and the bases at which they are stored. …
“[T]he flashcards … reveal not just the bases, but even identify the exact shelters with ‘hot’ vaults that likely contain nuclear weapons. They also detail intricate security details and protocols such as the positions of cameras, the frequency of patrols around the vaults, secret duress words that signal when a guard is being threatened and the unique identifiers that a restricted area badge needs to have.”
MONEY PROBLEMS FOR MANDEL? — “Josh Mandel’s Senate campaign sees exodus of fundraisers, sources say,” Columbus Dispatch: “Three fundraisers recently resigned from Republican JOSH MANDEL’S U.S. Senate campaign, prompting questions about the strength of his fundraising operation, according to Republican sources close to the campaign.”
RANKING (IN) THE BOROUGHS — “How Ranked-Choice Voting Could Affect New York’s Mayoral Race,” by NYT’s Nate Cohn: “New York City will use a ranking system in the mayor’s race for the first time. A phenomenon known as ‘ballot exhaustion,’ when every candidate ranked by a voter has been eliminated, could prove decisive.”
GEORGIA PLAYS THE WAITING GAME — “‘Up in the air’: In Georgia politics, the wait is on for top 2022 races,” by the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Greg Bluestein: “After [Sen. RAPHAEL] WARNOCK’s special election victory over GOP incumbent KELLY LOEFFLER, it seemed a heavyweight Republican would enter the race against him within weeks, if not days. … But a string of big-name candidates passed on the race, starting with former U.S. Sen. DAVID PERDUE and former U.S. Rep. DOUG COLLINS. While other heavyweights are considering a bid, most are waiting on a decision by [University of Georgia football great HERSCHEL] WALKER, who former President DONALD TRUMP said would be ‘unstoppable’ if he runs.
“Enterprising Republicans aren’t usually so eager to step aside for an out-of-state political newcomer to decide — Walker has lived in Texas for years — but support from the former president could be enough to swing a GOP primary. ‘Is the Herschel Walker news a pump fake or just a delayed handoff? That’s the $1 million question in Georgia politics right now,’ said STEPHEN LAWSON, a GOP operative and senior adviser to Loeffler, who is considering a comeback bid.”
BEYOND THE BELTWAY
PILLOW TALK — “MyPillow CEO flew Kristi Noem to GOP governors conference on his private jet,” by Daniel Lippman: “South Dakota Gov. KRISTI NOEM flew on MyPillow CEO MIKE LINDELL’S private jet on her way to the Republican Governors Association spring meeting in Nashville, Tennessee, this week, according to two people familiar with the matter.
“Lindell, a close ally of former President Donald Trump, was kicked out of the event after he had promised to confront Arizona Gov. DOUG DUCEY and Georgia Gov. BRIAN KEMP about why they aren’t pushing to overturn the 2020 election results in their states. … Lindell was able to gain access to the RGA meeting as a guest of Noem’s and as a prospective member, according to one of the people familiar with Noem’s travel arrangements.”
DEEP IN THE HEART — “Texas bill limiting teaching of current events, historic racism appears headed for governor,” Texas Tribune: “Many educators and education advocacy groups had opposed the bill, which still states that teachers cannot be compelled to discuss current events and if they do, they must ‘give deference to both sides.’ Opponents say it limits honest conversations about race and racism in American society. … The version now apparently heading to the governor also bans the teaching of The New York Times’ 1619 Project.”
FOX DIALS IT UP TO 11 — “Fox News Intensifies Its Pro-Trump Politics as Dissenters Depart,” by NYT’s Michael M. Grynbaum: “For seven years, JUAN WILLIAMS was the lone liberal voice on ‘The Five,’ the network’s popular afternoon chat show. On Wednesday, he announced that he was leaving the program, after months of harsh on-air blowback from his conservative co-hosts. … DONNA BRAZILE, the former Democratic Party chairwoman, was hired by Fox News with great fanfare in 2019 as a dissenting voice for its political coverage. … Brazile has now left Fox News; last week, she quietly started a new job at ABC.
“Onscreen and off, in ways subtle and overt, Fox News has adapted to the post-Trump era by moving in a single direction: Trumpward. … In January, the network fired its veteran politics editor, CHRIS STIREWALT, who had been an onscreen face of the early call in Arizona for Mr. Biden. This month, it brought on a new editor in the Washington bureau: KERRI KUPEC, a former spokeswoman for Mr. Trump’s attorney general William P. Barr. She had no journalistic experience.”
REPORTER ARRESTED IN ZIMBABWE — “Zimbabwe Authorities Arrest Local Reporter Working for The New York Times,” NYT: “The reporter, JEFFERY MOYO, 37, who was arrested on Wednesday, has denied any wrongdoing, and his lawyers have called the accusation spurious. Efforts by the lawyers to secure his release have so far been unsuccessful. Mr. Moyo, who is based in Harare and has a wife and 8-year-old son, has done work for The Times and a number of other news organizations, including The Globe and Mail of Canada. His arrest has come amid a crackdown on press freedom in the southern African country.”
TRUMP LASHES OUT AT (PAUL AND FRED) RYAN — “A time for abusing: Trump nukes Paul Ryan’s Reaganesque vision for GOP,” by David Siders: “At the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif. on Thursday night, [former House Speaker PAUL] RYAN had opened a speaker series billed as a conversation about the future of the Republican Party. Trump replied by trashing Ryan from Mar-a-Lago the next morning … [calling] the former House speaker a ‘RINO’ and a loser. And then Trump, the rare Republican who has criticized Reagan himself, went after FRED RYAN, chair of the board of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation.
“‘Ronald Reagan would not be happy to see that the Reagan Library is run by the head of the Washington Post, Fred Ryan,’ Trump wrote. ‘How the hell did that happen? No wonder they consistently have RINO speakers like Karl Rove and Paul Ryan. They do nothing for our forward-surging Republican Party!’”
FOR THE SPACE NERDS — “NASA releases stunning new pic of Milky Way’s ‘downtown,’” by AP’s Marcia Dunn
CLICKER — “The nation’s cartoonists on the week in politics,” edited by Matt Wuerker — 15 keepers
GREAT WEEKEND READS, curated by Ryan Lizza:
— “Inside Youth Baseball’s Most Notorious Dad-On-Dad Rivalry,” by David Gauvey for Esquire: “On the Long Island Inferno, two fathers, both with complicated pasts, took it all too far. Neither man was ever the same.”
— “Inside the Diversity-Equity-and-Inclusion Industrial Complex,” by The Cut’s Bridget Read: “What are companies desperate for diversity consultants actually buying?”
— “Did Paying a Ransom for a Stolen Magritte Painting Inadvertently Fund Terrorism?” by Joshua Hunt for Vanity Fair: “The theft of a deeply personal painting by the Belgian artist was a national tragedy. Now an investigation points to a tragedy greater still.”
— “The Mystery of Magic’s Greatest Card Trick,” by NYT’s David Segal: “At 94, the magician David Berglas says his renowned effect can’t be taught. Is he telling the truth?”
— “Fifty years of ‘Imagine,’” by Spectator’s Christopher Sandford: “Perhaps the real secret to the song’s eternal popularity is that it taps into our modern obsession with feeling good about ourselves.”
— “Is Gerrymandering About to Become More Difficult?” by POLITICO Magazine’s Zack Stanton: “A new approach in the way the Census aggregates its data could make it more difficult to do extreme gerrymandering, says Moon Duchin.”
— “The Media’s ‘Lab Leak’ Fiasco,” by Matthew Yglesias: “A huge fuckup, with perhaps not-so-huge policy stakes.”
— “Eugene Clemons May Be Ineligible for the Death Penalty. A Rigid Clinton-Era Law Could Force Him to Be Executed Anyway.,” by ProPublica’s Seth Freed Wessler: “His lawyers presented no defense at trial. Then a clerk’s office misplaced a plea for his civil rights behind a file cabinet. Now, it’s almost impossible for the federal courts to address the problems with his case.”
— “Eleanor Holmes Norton’s Long, Lonely Fight to Gain DC Voting Rights,” by Mother Jones’ Matt Cohen: “DC’s non-voting delegate has spent three decades in Congress on a mission for statehood. Why is she now willing to wait?”
— “Divided Highway,” by Reuters’ Andy Sullivan: “As a freeway comes down, Syracuse, New York, faces its legacy of segregation.”
— From the archives: “The Long and the Short of Richard G. Darman,” by WaPo’s Marjorie Williams, July 29, 1990: “George Bush’s budget director is (choose one): a) A brilliant idealist committed to the long-term public interest; b) An ambitious cynic fed by the thrill of the game; c) Trying really hard to have it both ways.”
IN MEMORIAM — “Foster Friess, Big Donor to Republicans, Dies at 81,” NYT: “Foster Friess, a Wyoming businessman who founded an investment firm, made a fortune and gave a lot of it away to Republican presidential candidates and charities, sometimes with flair, died on Thursday in Scottsdale, Ariz. He was 81. His organization, Foster’s Outriders, which confirmed the death, said he had been receiving care at the Mayo Clinic there for myelodysplastic syndrome, a disorder of the blood cells and bone marrow.”
FIRST IN PLAYBOOK — Adrian Culea is now director of the White House travel office. He previously was the director of travel operations for the Biden campaign and is also a Sean Patrick Maloney and NBA alum.
TRANSITIONS — Rufus Gifford has been nominated to be chief of protocol with the rank of ambassador in the State Department. He previously was deputy campaign manager for the Biden campaign. … End Citizens United and Let America Vote announced a slate of new hires: Tina Olechowski will be comms director, Ebonee Dawson will be political director, Jessica Church will be director of state and local campaigns, Brian Wietgraf will be deputy research director, Mai-Thy Tyler will be deputy director of state and local campaigns and Chanelle Kacy-Dunlap will be social media manager.
WEEKEND WEDDING — Sery Kim, former congressional candidate for Texas’ 6th Congressional District special election and a Trump SBA alum, and Michael Cybulski, a major in the U.S. Marine Corps currently stationed at CENTCOM, got married by the Justice of the Peace in the Tarrant County Historic Courthouse in Texas on Friday. The two meet on Hinge in August 2019. Pic
WELCOME TO THE WORLD — Aaron Keyak, former Jewish engagement director for the Biden campaign and transition, and Avigail Goldgraber, a senior manager at Accenture, welcomed twin boys on Friday. The boys will not be named prior to their Brit Millah, per Jewish tradition. Pic … Another pic
— Leah Dempsey, VP and senior counsel for federal advocacy at ACA International, and Mark Dempsey, director of investment adviser compliance at ICMA-RC, welcomed Leo Jay Dempsey on Friday at Sibley Hospital. Pic
HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) … McClatchy’s Francesca Chambers … Philip Klein … FP1 Strategies’ Jon Conradi … Bri Gillis … Matthew Dowd (6-0) … Todd Flournoy … Dayna Geldwert … Lee Satterfield, nominee to be assistant secretary for the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the State Department … Chris Quillian (5-0) … The Forward’s Jacob Kornbluh … Alex Ford of Halcyon Strategy … Annette Guarisco Fildes … Washington Blade’s Chris Johnson … Nucor’s Eileen Bradner … Mary Ryan Douglass … NPR’s Terence Samuel … Jacob Alderman … former Reps. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) and Tom Coleman (R-Mo.) … Danny Crouch
THE SHOWS (Full Sunday show listings here):
“Fox News Sunday”: Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg … Sen. Shelly Moore Capito (R-W.Va.). Panel: Jason Chaffetz, Kristen Soltis Anderson and Juan Williams.
“Face the Nation”: Scott Gottlieb … Art Acevedo … Kevin Washington … Stephen Kaufer … Paul Gionfriddo.
“The Sunday Show”: Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) … Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) … Matthew Dowd … Jonathan Greenblatt … Stanley Nelson … Jazz Hampton … Marco Williams … Arun Gandhi … Bernice King … Donna Edwards.
“Meet the Press”: Matthew Pottinger … Peter Hotez … Chuck Rosenberg … Andrew Weissmann. Panel: Geoff Bennett, Stephanie Cutter, Sara Fagen and Anne Gearan.
“State of the Union”: Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg … Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) … Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) … Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.).
“Inside Politics”: Panel: Seung Min Kim, Jonathan Martin, Catherine Lucey, Brittany Shepherd and Yasmeen Abutaleb.
“This Week”: Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. Panel: Keith Alexander, Tom Bossert and Niloofar Howe. Panel: Jonathan Karl, Terry Moran, Michel Martin and Laura Barrón-López.
“Full Court Press”: Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) … Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-Pa.).