CHARLESTON — U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito said a budget proposal for the next fiscal year from President Joe Biden is likely “dead on arrival” in Congress.
Speaking during a virtual briefing with West Virginia reporters from her offices on Capitol Hill Thursday, Capito, R-W.Va., called Biden’s budget for fiscal year 2024 a stealth tax increase on small business owners while ignoring the military support or funding for the southern border.
“The presidential budget is pretty much dead on arrival here in the Senate, but it is an expression of the president’s priorities,” Capito said. “Honestly, these are misplaced priorities.”
The White House released a budget for fiscal year 2024 beginning Oct. 1, outlining a $6.9 trillion proposal for members of Congress to consider. The comprehensive budget document includes multiple proposals, including restoring and expanding the pandemic-era Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit.
The budget would make permanent an $800 per year average health insurance premium cut through extended tax credits extended by the Inflation Reduction Act, as well as extend Medicaid expansion to states that have not opted in. It would reduce prescription drug costs, strengthen Medicare drug price negotiation powers, and cap the monthly price of insulin prescriptions.
Biden’s budget includes changes to the tax code to address pending insolvency issues for the Medicare Trust Fund, keeping it functioning for another 25 years. It also includes $150 billion in funding for Medicaid home and community-based services.
For education, the budget includes funding for states to increase access to affordable child care and proposals to lower the overall cost, as well as expand universal pre-Kindergarten. It includes increases in the Pell Grant for college students, expansion of free community college options, and assistance for students attending Historically Black Colleges or Universities or other higher education systems serving marginalized communities.
The budget proposal also addresses affordable housing, energy and water costs, investments in manufacturing and research, a plan for national paid family and medical leave, calls for paid sick leave, workforce training, and much more.
But these proposals would all be paid for from $4.7 trillion in new taxes according to an analysis by the nonpartisan Tax Foundation. Tax increases include raising marginal tax rates on certain kinds of income, a new minimum tax on individuals of high net worth, and Medicare tax increases. Factoring in the expansion of tax credits, the net tax increases would drop to $3.8 trillion.
“The Biden budget proposal would move top tax rates in the U.S. beyond international norms. The higher marginal tax rates on work, saving, and investment would reduce competitiveness and economic growth,” according to the Tax Foundation analysis. “The proposed Biden budget tax increases would put upward pressure on combined top tax rates at the state and local levels.”
“The president is prioritizing more and more spending,” Capito said. “We’ve seen over the years that spending has just put us in an untenable position as far as our deficit. It’s also having an impact on inflation, and it’s having an impact on costs of goods, such as food and fuel. Everything continues to go up and up. I am concerned about that.”
Capito criticized the Biden budget for not including more support for modernizations and resupply of the U.S. military. She also criticized Biden for cutting the budget for the Department of Homeland Security as its agencies work to stem the tide of record-breaking numbers of immigrants and asylum seekers on the U.S./Mexico border. Capito said that funding is needed for DHS’s drug interdiction efforts to stop the flow of fentanyl into the U.S.
“He cuts the Department of Homeland Security
budget, which will be the principal agency that is charged with stopping the
flow of not just illegal immigrants, but also the illegal flow of drugs,
especially fentanyl which is so, so deadly,” Capito said. “I just
think these are misplaced priorities. He mentions fentanyl twice. He mentions
climate change 42 times, which shows the priorities that the president has.”