Congresswoman Barbara Lee Statement on President Biden’s Budget Proposal
Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Barbara Lee released the following statement on President Biden’s $6 trillion budget, which will make historic investments in addressing the needs of the American people.
“President Biden’s first budget proposal since taking office comes as 140 million Americans confront poverty or low-wealth and are one crisis away from financial devastation. The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a light on the systemic inequality and racism that has existed for generations in our country. This budget offers an opportunity to make transformative investments in housing, education, transportation, and jobs that will allow us to build back bolder from this crisis. It will help America be a better global partner by investing in diplomacy and development to tackle shared challenges like pandemics and climate change.
“This budget includes critical investments included in the American Jobs Plan and the American Families Plan that will put millions of people to work and provide $2.2 trillion over 10 years to fortify and modernize our nation’s infrastructure. It ensures education equity, helps families keep food on the table by expanding access to healthy meals, and includes long overdue measures to lower prescription drug costs and improve health coverage. It also includes an historic expansion of Housing Choice Vouchers to put homes in reach of more Americans than ever before and help families avoid homelessness. I applaud President Biden’s commitment to tackling structural inequity and investing in a bolder future for our nation’s families, including communities of color who have been hit the hardest by this pandemic.
“While this budget includes many critical investments to meet the scale of this crisis and the needs of millions struggling, I was disappointed to see that President Biden did not seize this opportunity to rein in wasteful defense spending and reinvest in the health and long term well-being of our communities. A $13 billion increase in defense spending does not reflect this country’s real national security needs, such as job security, healthcare security, housing security, and climate security. I will continue fighting in Congress this year to cut our wasteful defense spending and refocus on the most pressing challenges our country faces today.
“On top of the stress put on our public health system due to the pandemic, structural racism has long made quality health care – including reproductive health care – inaccessible to communities of color and low-income communities. While I am pleased that President Biden is the first president in decades to exclude the racist and discriminatory Hyde Amendment from the budget, I am concerned that the Helms and Weldon Amendments will continue to restrict accessible health care for people at home and around the globe. As Co-Chair of the Pro-Choice Caucus, I remain committed to fighting against these harmful and discriminatory abortion care funding bans to ensure everyone has access to essential health care. I am also pleased to see increased funding for Title X Family Planning programs.
“President Biden is making meaningful investments in the needs of the American people with the goal of building back bolder. As a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, I look forward to working with the administration to pass this budget through Congress and deliver for the American people."
For a summary of the budget, click here.