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Biden budget proposal announced

Countering a supposed Russian threat featured prominently in the new draft released as a campaign pitch

US President Joe Biden released a draft budget for the next fiscal year on Monday, outlining his policy proposals as he prepares to run for a second four-year term ahead of the November election. The document includes an allocation to target supposed “aggression” from Russia.

In the $7.266 trillion budget for fiscal year 2025, Biden wants to raise taxes on corporations and high earners to help cut the deficit and increase spending on “mandatory” social programs. The administration plans to spend roughly $300 billion more than in the previous fiscal year.

The document also includes $900 billion for “discretionary” defense programs, with the Ukraine conflict featuring prominently. According to the State Department, the Budget Request includes $1.5 billion to counter what it describes as “the Kremlin’s aggression.” 

The White House is also seeking to deal with Moscow’s influence in Africa, with the budget providing “$25 million for a new Countering Russian Malign Actors in Africa Fund to suppress Russian or other malign actors in the region.” Moscow has expanded its economic and political presence on the African continent in recent years, especially after the launch of the Western sanctions campaign against Russia in 2022.

China is another area of concern for the US administration, with the White House budget blueprint describing the country as “America’s pacing challenge.” The document includes $400 million to combat Chinese global influence and to “out-compete” Beijing.

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The US is also aiming to invest as much as $20 billion in modernizing its nuclear programs. The draft budget describes “a strong nuclear deterrent as a foundational aspect of integrated deterrence” for the security of the US and its allies, including in Europe.

Moscow has dismissed the US budget and the planned spending on countering Russia as “nothing new.” According to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, the amounts represent “permanent items of expenditure” and Moscow does not see any cardinal changes in the approach.

Republicans in the House of Representatives have described Biden’s proposed 2025 budget as a “roadmap to accelerate America’s decline,” according to a joint statement released on social media by Speaker Mike Johnson. The statement accuses the administration of “reckless spending” and a “ runaway spending spree” that disregards fiscal responsibility. 

The US government’s debt surpassed the $34 trillion mark in December amid a ballooning budget deficit. Total outstanding borrowing by the US federal government now stands at over $34.5 trillion.

 

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