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Biden’s $ 6 trillion budget dropped key campaign promises on student debt cancellation and health care reform


President Joe Biden. Nicholas Kamm / Getty Images

President Joe Biden officially unveiled his first budget proposal on Friday, which calls for $ 6 trillion for fiscal 2022 to largely help fund his two-part infrastructure plan.

But several questions he promised during his reform campaign are visibly missing from this budget.

The budget outlines spending focused on climate change, education, and care-saving measures included in the president’s infrastructure proposals. But it does not incorporate campaign promises to cancel student debt and reform health and unemployment systems.

The budget document simply signals an administration’s priorities for the coming year, given congressional plans, and approves a federal budget. Republicans and Democrats must strike a deal by September 30 to avoid government shutdown.

In this case, Biden’s budget demonstrates a laser focus on approving his $ 4 trillion infrastructure plans, which include new federal commitments to physical infrastructure as well as new health, education and cash for families.

Here are three Biden campaign pledges left outside his annual budget.

Cancellation of student debt

Warren schumer

Senator Elizabeth Warren speaks as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer looks on during a press conference at the United States Capitol on July 22, 2020 in Washington, DC. Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Insider reported on April 7 that no progress had been made on two of Biden’s campaign student debt pledges: canceling $ 10,000 in student debt per person and canceling undergraduate student debt at public colleges and historically black colleges and universities (HBCU).

Biden’s budget also ignores those promises.

In a speech on Nov. 16, Biden said student loans were delaying borrowers and that the $ 10,000 student loan forgiveness “should be done immediately.” His campaign website also said the president would work with Democrats to “allow up to $ 10,000 in student debt relief per borrower” as part of COVID-19 relief, but the stimulus package $ 1.9 trillion he signed in March didn’t understand that, and neither made his $ 4 trillion infrastructure proposal.

And although he has said he will support proposed legislation to write off $ 10,000 in student debt, Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts told Insider on Thursday that it could easily be done through executive action. .

“The cancellation of student loans could take place today,” Warren said. “The president just needs to sign a piece of paper canceling this debt. He’s not taking any act of Congress or any amendment to the budget.”

Biden has asked the Department of Education and the Department of Justice to review his ability to cancel debt using his executive powers, but no timeline has been given on when the review will be completed.

Set up a voluntary government-run insurance plan

Biden Sanders debate

Democratic presidential candidates, former Vice President Joe Biden (left) and Senator Bernie Sanders (right). Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP via Getty Images

The budget plan did not include a government-run health insurance program that Biden campaigned on, called the public option. This is an optional Medicare-type health insurance plan that people can join if they choose. The program is designed to compete with private insurers and lower prices for average Americans.

“Whether or not you are covered by your employer or yourself or not, you should have the choice to take out a public Medicare option plan – your choice,” Biden said at a campaign event in 2019.

Neither the stimulus packages nor the infrastructure plans included a public option. Biden, along with Democrats, focused on injecting money into Obamacare stock exchanges and expanding access.

The last Democratic primary was largely defined by political brawls over health care. Progressives like Senator Bernie Sanders pushed for a universal health care program that would eliminate private insurance known as Medicare for All. Centrists like Biden have pushed for the creation of a public option available in the markets under the Affordable Care Act.

The budget only asks Congress to approve a public option extending Medicare to people aged 60 and over. But no policy to move it forward is included in the document.

A pair of top Democrats – Senate Health, Education, Work and Pensions Speaker Patty Murray and House Energy and Commerce Speaker Frank Pallone – announced on Wednesday that they were drafting legislation to create a public option in the coming weeks.

Review of unemployment systems

Unemployment benefit line

Hundreds of unemployed Kentucky residents line up outside the Kentucky Career Center for help with their unemployment claims on June 19, 2020 in Frankfort, Kentucky. John Sommers II / Getty Images

After Biden unveiled his plan for American families, the White House released a document saying he was determined to work with Congress to automatically increase benefits in the event of an economic crisis.

And while Insider reported that details of how to do this were vague in the infrastructure plan, Biden’s budget is silent on the unemployment system. It comes as a growing number of GOP-led states early cut weekly unemployment benefits by $ 300 following a poor jobs report in April, with Republican lawmakers arguing that the benefits keep the workers away.

The overhaul of the country’s aging unemployment system has been championed by the senses. Ron Wyden and Michael Bennet. They introduced a plan to boost unemployment benefits so that it provides at least two-thirds of wage replacement to laid-off workers.

Read the original article on Business Insider


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