On March 9, 2023, President Biden released his fiscal year (FY) 2024 budget request outlining the administration’s priorities, including a nearly 10 percent increase in discretionary spending over the current enacted funding levels. The President’s budget requests a total of $6.9 trillion federal spending for FY 2024. Of this amount, $4.2 trillion would be in mandatory spending and $1.9 trillion would be in discretionary spending. Defense spending would receive an approximately 3 percent increase from FY 2023 for a total of $885 billion in discretionary spending, while non-defense spending would receive a nearly 4 percent increase from FY 2023 levels for a total of $1.02 trillion in FY 2024. The President’s budget request proposes a 7 percent increase over current non-defense spending level and tax increases among other proposed revenue raisers designed to lower the national deficit by $3 trillion over the next 10 years.
The President’s budget request is the first step in the annual appropriations process. As the U.S. Congress holds the power of the purse, the next step is for Congress to pass a budget resolution, which provides a blueprint for all budget-related legislation, including the topline numbers governing discretionary spending for the upcoming fiscal year. The Appropriations Committees in the House and Senate will spend the next couple of months holding hearings on the budget request in preparation of their work on appropriations bills for government departments and agencies. The current divided government – with Democrats controlling the White House and the Senate, but with Republicans in the majority in the House of Representatives – and escalating partisan rhetoric on the debt ceiling raises questions about whether the political parties can navigate their way to an agreement before the current funding law expires on September 30. One thing is clear, the President’s budget priorities stand in stark contrast with the emerging House Republican agenda, and the final FY 2024 appropriations law will vary significantly from President Biden’s request.
The following summary, based on a review of the budget request and accompanying Fact Sheet and Analytical Perspectives, provides highlights from each section of the President’s budget proposal. Please reach out to the Crowell Government Affairs Group for more detail in any given area.