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On March 11, President Biden released his proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2025. The president’s budget request provides a roadmap for the administration’s priorities and a framework for Congress as lawmakers get to work on this year’s funding bills.  

The federal budget is a moral document, outlining the priorities of our country. While President Biden’s budget calls for investment in some important areas, it doesn’t meet our needs domestically or around the world.

Below are some top take-aways from FCNL’s policy experts breaking down what you need to know:  

Positive Steps for International Climate Assistance  
  • As one of the largest historic emitters of greenhouse gases, the U.S. government has a moral responsibility to lead international efforts to mitigate the climate crisis and help vulnerable communities who are facing its worst impacts.  
  • While U.S. climate action continues to fall short, the president’s request for $500 million for the international Green Climate Fund is a welcome step toward fulfilling our responsibility to help developing countries respond to the crisis. 
Increasing Investments in Community Violence Prevention  
  • We were encouraged to see the president’s budget request $100 million for the Community Violence Intervention and Prevention Initiative (CVI) – twice the amount that was enacted in FY23 and FY24.  
  • CVI funds important violence interrupter programs across the country that have proven successful in making neighborhoods safer, preventing gun violence, and reducing the over-policing of Black, brown, and low-income communities. 
The Wrong Approach on Migration
  • The president’s budget proposal is another step in the wrong direction on migration.  
  • The budget includes funding to maintain detention centers and hire more border patrol agents while cutting $5 million in case management programming for asylum seekers and nearly $1 billion for Migration and Refugee Assistance compared to FY23 funding levels.  
  • The request also includes a $4.7 billion emergency fund for border security. While some of these funds can be used for humanitarian reception programs like the Shelter and Services Program, lumping these programs together with militarized enforcement practices mischaracterizes care for new arrivals.
  • We continue to advocate for a shift to effective, cost-efficient, and humane migration management as part of just policies that uphold the dignity of vulnerable people seeking safety and opportunity in the U.S.
Reducing Poverty and Moving Toward Tax Fairness
  • The president called for reinstating expansions to the Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit that led to the biggest reductions in child poverty on record before Congress allowed them to expire in 2021.  
  • The budget request also included changes to make the tax code more fair. This includes reversing tax cuts for corporations and taxing capital gains and dividends at the same rate as wages for households with incomes over $1 million.
  • The budget also includes a 25% minimum tax on total income, for households with at least $100 million in assets, which is about 0.01% of families.  
Even More Money for the Massive Pentagon Budget  
A Lackluster Investment in International Peacebuilding
  • As the president requests even more money for weapons and war, his budget proposal would cut overall funding for diplomatic and humanitarian foreign affairs programs by 10% from last year.
  • President Biden’s request does not include any funding specifically for Atrocities Prevention and Reconciliation Programs and insufficient funding for the Complex Crises Fund – all vital peacebuilding programs to prevent and mitigate violent conflicts around the globe.  
  • Congress must reject this lackluster proposal to do more to invest in peace, including allocating at least $25 million to Atrocities Prevention and $40 million to Reconciliation Programs.
No Funding for UNRWA’s Vital Humanitarian Aid to Palestinians  
  • President Biden’s proposal would cut all U.S. funding for UNRWA – A U.N. agency which provides life-saving humanitarian aid in Gaza and critical support to Palestinian refugees in the Occupied West Bank, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon.
  • Amid the unprecedented humanitarian disaster in Gaza, we implore Congress to maintain at least $375 million for UNRWA’s vital aid work and to reject provisions to ban Migration Refugee Assistance funding from being allocated to the agency.  
The Bottom Line

A budget is a statement on priorities. President Biden’s latest budget request calls for welcome investments in several key FCNL areas, including climate and community violence intervention. Further, it reorients the tax code to be more fair and raise more revenues for key domestic and international priorities. However, FCNL is disappointed by the continued increase in Pentagon spending, harsh immigrant detention policies, and underfunding for international peacebuilding programs. 

Anika Forrest

Anika Forrest

Legislative Director, Domestic Policy

Anika Forrest leads FCNL’s domestic policy team. In this role, she guides the team’s legislative and policy strategy and directs the migration policy program.

Heather Brandon-Smith

Heather Brandon-Smith

Legislative Director of Foreign Policy

Heather Brandon-Smith is FCNL’s Deputy Director for Foreign Policy. Heather leads FCNL’s work to repeal outdated war authorization, promote respect for human rights and international law, and reduce U.S. armed interventions around the world.

Amelia Kegan

Amelia Kegan

Associate General Secretary for Policy and Advocacy

Amelia Kegan leads FCNL’s strategic legislative advocacy and organizing work.