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tv   Caitlin Emma  CSPAN  April 14, 2021 3:15pm-3:37pm EDT

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better telecommunications. i've been to the border seven times. i've asked the judges, priests, policemen, and the border patrol, does the law work? the answer is yes. you say, why? because it shapes the terrain. it shapes the terrain. where the rio grande needs about 100 miles of fencing to better shape the terrain, in my view the biden administration can complete that task and help improve the security for customs agents who are absolutely overwhelmed. >> congressman french hill, thank you for being with us. >> bill, thank you. we're joined next by caitlin emma, from politico, to talk about the president's budget.
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$1.5 trillion, good morning. >> good morning. >> tell us about that. this is just the discretionary budget. what else makes up the rest of the president's budget, and how much is that grand total expected to be? >> what we saw released late last week was what you called the discretionary spending request for 2022, the upcoming fiscal year that begins on october 1st. discretionary spending only makes up about a third of the total federal budget. this is funding for all of the federal agencies, non-defense programs, in addition to the pentagon. this does not encompass the full federal budget. it's about $1.5 trillion, this spending request. in addition, you have mandatory
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spending on things like medicare and social security. tax proposals. all of that is forthcoming. but right now, the white house released this so that congressional appropriators can get working on it. >> when was the last time domestic spending has been increased on this level? or has it been in the past? >> this is a huge increase. the president's budget is essentially a proposal, it's what the white house wants to see. and in a lot of ways, it's a
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messaging document. people call it a wish list, and there's this phrase, the president proposes and congress disposes. but president biden is saying he wants major increases to non-defense programs. health, education, labor programs. public health, things like that. that is really what we're seeing in terms of priorities. a 16% increase is huge. essentially, the president is proposing $769 billion for non-defense programs. at the same time, he's only proposing a marginal increase for military funding. we've already seen that run into resistance from both republicans and progressives. just a wish list, but there's a clear emphasis on a need for domestic investments. >> we welcome your calls and comments.
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(202) 748-8001 for republicans, (202) 748-8000 for democrats, and (202) 748-8002 for independents and all others. this is completely separate from the $1.9 trillion last month for covid-19 stimulus and other things. >> right. congress passed this huge coronavirus relief package last month. this is separate. what the president released. this is proposed government funding for fiscal 2022. that begins october 21st, we're in fiscal year 2021. separate is the president's proposed $2 trillion infrastructure plan. we've been told that in the coming weeks, as the president looks to release his fuller budget request, proposals for mandatory spending and tax
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reform, i believe the white house is going to look to tie in the infrastructure plan together with fiscal year 2022 spending as a plan for the next year and years to come. >> let's hear from republicans, about some of the top line numbers like the $1.5 trillion proposal, including $769 billion for non-defense programs, $753 billion for defense programs. a 16% increase for funding. what is some reaction on the spending? >> the military proposal is probably the most controversial. initially, we saw praise from top spending leaders like rosa
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delauro, and others saying this is a great starting point. we can work with this. but the president has to walk this difficult line on defense funding. it's one of the most fascinating narratives, to me, for the next year. because you have progressives in the party, progressive democrats who want to take at least a 10% cut off the top of the pentagon's budget, at least. they want to see big spending cuts. they think there's too much military waste. that we're spending too much on the pentagon. we need to invest that money into domestic programs, education, health, labor. even a tiny 1.7% increase over the previous year is too much for progressives. at the same time, you have republicans who are saying, you're flat funding the military. this is never going to fly.
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this is going to affect our readiness, and this is a big problem for us. you're going to need republican support to pass a government funding package. so 1.7% is not going to be enough to earn republican support moving forward. >> your colleagues are reporting the president will have an announcement this afternoon at 2:15 p.m. on withdrawing troops from afghanistan. will there be less of an expenditure in afghanistan, so that figure may be more appropriate? >> it remains to be seen. you'll probably have to capitulate to republicans and provide more funding for the military. any government funding package will need support from at least ten republicans to get through the senate. so republicans can be as loud as
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they want in terms of the cuts they want to see. unless you want to provide funding for domestic agencies in fiscal 2022, you're probably going to have to compromise by providing the pentagon with a little more money than a 1.7% increase. >> this is from the 2015 budget, according to politico. 1.2 for border security with no new money. $4.3 billion for hhs office of refugee resettlement. >> you're talking about a major
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investment in public health. an issue is that the cdc has suffered from underfunding for far too long. and in the middle of a pandemic, that's pretty untenable. some of the other figures that you mentioned like the $20 billion increase for title i schools, that's a massive infusion of funding for that program, which serves the nation's low income schools. i was a former education reporter. that really caught my eye in terms of something that is big. and we're talking about an historic investment in climate change at $14 billion. but this is a wish list, essentially. it remains to be seen how this shakes out. >> let's go to john in chicago, good morning. >> caller: good morning. >> go ahead, you're on the air. >> caller: it's very simple. we need to stop the spending.
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how are we in debt for trillions of dollars? i'll tell you why. it's because of people like biden, people who have been in office for decades. they're the cause. god bless president donald trump, that's all i got to say. >> caitlin? >> you raise a very good point. for a lot of folks, they're very concerned about the national debt. and there are a lot of fiscally conservative people who feel like there needs to be more focus on that. it's certainly a big topic among economists in terms of, are we spending too much? and at what point does the federal debt become a problem? the only issue is, there isn't a tipping point with the federal debt. nobody is sure what point that is, and at what point other countries lose faith in the
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united states in that way. a lot of folks will argue, we can afford this right now, spending on pandemic aid and our infrastructure. annual government funding, in comparison, is a drop in the bucket. but a lot of folks are arguing these investments are needed now to put the country in a more stable spot, and the economy and labor market as well. and to come back in the future, and talk about ways to bring the debt and deficit down. >> beverly in virginia on the independent line. >> caller: thank you. i'm a senior citizen, and my concern is if we continue to pay off and help all those other countries like we are, what will happen with our check? right now, i only get 1,600 a
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month, a year. and we senior citizens, a lot of us want to work. but as soon as we start working, they take away from our checks. so most of us don't want to lose what we're going to get. i want to know if we can do anything to let the senior citizens who want to work, to work. >> will there be changes? has the biden administration indicated any changes to social security or medicare benefits? >> the proposal is just a discretionary funding request. it's funding for federal agencies. discretionary spending is just about a third of the federal budget. it does not touch programs that are categorized as mandatory pounding, medicare, medicaid,
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social security. we expect to see a fuller budget request from the biden white house in terms of what they would like to do there. certainly, there's probably a lot of pressure from advocates and folks across the country to make investments in social security that will ensure the program's sustainability. that program faces a lot of challenges in terms of insolvency, and some folks would argue the pandemic has made that a little bit worse. it will be interesting to see what the white house proposes for social security and medicare and medicaid. >> the cabinet will go to capitol hill, tom vilsack is testifying about the usda's 2022 proposed budget. we'll hear from the transportation secretary and the education secretary as well.
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if there's a theme, what is it? >> i would say it's probably historic investments in domestic programs. these are non-defense programs. programs that do not involve the pentagon or the military. that is essentially because we're at the end, we're now on the other side of what was ten years of strict funding limits under what was called the budget control act. that set limits on how much congress can spend for ten years. that was a 2011 law. and now that we're in fiscal 2021, fiscal 2022 in october is the first year we're outside of those caps. a lot of folks feel like programs have been short-changed for a decade. now that we're beyond that, congress really has an
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opportunity to course correct, if they want, with domestic funding, and rein in military spending if they want. we're in a free zone where congress can decide what levels are appropriate for domestic levels and for the pentagon, and that will be the subject of a lot of upcoming spending fights. >> the center for a responsible federal budget says, the caps expiring this year, discretionary spending encompasses a third of the budget, and we need to know how the president will address the other two-thirds of the budget and also taxes. but sounds like there's not much appetite on capitol hill for a return to spending caps. >> there is not. >> on both sides of the aisle, i suspect.
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>> yes. i haven't heard any republicans talking about reinstating discretionary spending caps at the moment, which is a good point. but when you think about where we are at the moment, coming off, still in the middle of a global health crisis. trying to get everybody in the country vaccinated. ensuring that the economic growth that has been predicted bears itself out. nobody is really talking about the need for sort of a new era of fiscal austerity at the moment. will that change? possibly, in the next few years. but democrats have a slim majority in both the house and the senate at the moment. it just does not seem like that is a discussion that the white house and democrats want to have right now. >> here's michael in pennsylvania. democrats line. >> caller: good morning, everyone. i want to say, it's very funny
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how the previous administration gives tax cuts to some of the wealthiest companies in the country, and republicans are fine with it. now that mr. biden wants to invest in america, and truly make it great again, there's all this pushback. we need -- we're in the middle of a global pandemic. obviously millions of people have lost their jobs. companies have been decimated. this investment is needed here domestically to help the country. i don't see where investing in broadband or transportation is a bad thing. these are things that i feel the government should do. in cooperation with private partnerships to make america better. so i'm all for any investment in the united states. and i do believe, if they want
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to push a green new deal, all the coal and oil workers need to be retrained and they have to invest money in these people so they don't feel left behind. thank you. >> okay. >> you bring up a good point, with the tax cuts in 2017, republicans used what is called the budget reconciliation process to push through this huge package of tax cuts, which contributed significantly to the federal deficit. and this budget reconciliation process allowed them to move that package through congress without democratic support. because republicans at the time controlled both chambers of congress and the white house. now we're on the other end of that. we saw democrats last month use this budget reconciliation process to pass the coronavirus relief package through congress without republican support. so when you're talking about the tax cuts, that is definitely a big talking point for democrats
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right now. you know, republicans were comfortable pushing that through congress in 2017. and contributing to the deficit, and giving corporations those tax breaks. now the pendulum is swinging the other way, where democrats want to raise the corporate tax rate in order to make major investments in infrastructure and other major investments in public health, human infrastructure, trying to level the playing field there. one part of the president's proposed infrastructure package would raise the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%, and that's one of the ways he hopes to pay for this package. already, we're seeing quite a bit of resistance to that, from both moderate democrats, republicans, obviously democrats do not need republicans to get this through congress. but it doesn't look like that tax cut as proposed might sort
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of bear itself out, eventually. but i think we'll see a lot more from the white house in terms of where are they comfortable negotiating on a corporate tax rate, in their fuller budget proposal that is coming. and it will be interesting, because it illustrates their desire to pay for these massive infrastructure and human infrastructure investments, and there will probably be some proposals within the ten-year budget window, how they want to fund the government and the president's vision. how they want to pay for it. and i think that does involve increasing taxes on corporations and the wealthy. >> i have a question for you from irwin in wisconsin. how does student loan forgiveness factor in to the budget? >> this is one area that is interesting to pay attention to, with the biden white house.
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my colleagues on the education team have done a lot of interesting writing about this. essentially, the president is under pressure to unilaterally cancel student debt via executive order. he's getting a little bit of pressure from top congressional democrats to do that. the white house is taking a more measured approach, where they don't seem to be completely comfortable with doing that. apparently, from what i've read, they want the justice department to look into the president's authority to do some of that. but there are a lot of progressive democrats and top democrats who feel like the president can just step out right now and cancel student debt. but the white house has been a little bit more cautious on that front. >> rory in california is with us. good morning. >> calr


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