On April 9th, President Biden released an outline of his fiscal year 2022 spending priorities for the portion of the budget that is appropriated annually — known as discretionary spending. The $1.5 trillion proposed budget is a sharp departure from decades of disinvestment in critical government services and supports.
Nourish California commends the Biden Administration for a historic infusion of funding that will help those experiencing the greatest need through initiatives focused on low- and moderate-income households. Among its many important proposals, the budget would make significant investments in high-poverty schools ($20 billion increase), affordable child care and preschool ($2.7 billion increase), college affordability through increases in Pell Grants and other supports for students, and significant funding for affordable housing. Biden’s budget would also increase USDA funding by 16%, including a $1 billion increase in funding for discretionary nutrition programs. The budget specifically calls out investments in WIC and meal programs for older adults.
Nourish California and our partners call on congress to work with the Biden Administration to allocate robust discretionary spending for our nation's federal nutrition programs, including a $7 billion investment in WIC to serve anticipated caseloads and $1.09 billion in funding for the olders american act nutrition programs. Although most other federal nutrition program funding is mandatory and does not need to be annually appropriated, discretionary spending is needed for WIC and the older americans act nutrition programs.
In the months ahead, the President will release his full budget proposal. It is expected to include additional details of his discretionary proposals, mandatory proposals, and proposed tax reforms. The proposals will be separate, but complementary to the President’s infrastructure proposals which are currently under consideration by congress.
Although the proposals will mark the President’s spending priorities, he must reach a deal with congress to enact the budget. Beginning with budget review hearings this week, the appropriations committees in the House and Senate will begin work to examine the President’s requests alongside other requests. Now is the time to communicate budget and appropriations priorities with appropriations committee members.