Biden’s first budget vs. Trump’s last budget
Speaking Security Newsletter | Advisory Note for Activists and Candidates, n°148 | 12 March 2022
Joe Biden just signed a $1.5 trillion spending bill that’ll fund the government for the rest of fiscal year (FY) 2022. So far in FY2022, the government has been funded by a series of short-term funding measures called continuing resolutions, or CRs. The legislation Biden signed is an omnibus appropriations bill, which packs all 12 regular appropriations bills that comprise federal discretionary spending together in a single package (divisions A through L if you’re looking at the Appropriations Committee’s explanatory statement; the other divisions in the bill are supplemental appropriations).
Despite ‘Defense’ being just 1 of the 12 discretionary spending bills, it routinely eats about half the total discretionary budget. In some particularly bad years, military spending consumes more than half of all discretionary funding. Trump’s FY2021 budget was an example of that—and so is Biden’s FY2022 budget.
On the campaign trail, Biden promised rich donors that “nothing would fundamentally change” if he was elected. It’s like Biden monetized that quote: In terms of the military vs. non-military split, Biden’s first spending bill is nearly identical to Trump’s last spending bill.