President Joe Biden presented his list of priorities to Congress on April 9 in a massive discretionary spending plan of $ 1.52 trillion for fiscal 2022.
If approved as presented, the plan would go into effect on October 1st. Historically, however, the president’s budgets only signal priorities, and Congress has its own idea of the budget. Two of Biden’s key cabinet officers, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Home Secretary Deb Haaland, backed the plan, which they believe addresses immediate and long-term goals for the United States.
The budget includes a budget of $ 27.8 billion for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, $ 17.4 billion for the Interior, and $ 11.2 billion for the Environmental Protection Agency.
The discretionary motion provides for $ 1.2 billion, an increase of $ 74 million from the level set in 2021, to allow the Food Safety and Inspection Service to strengthen the capacity of small and regional meat processors and ensure safe food production. The discretionary motion also provides $ 15 million for the local agricultural marketing program to support local supply chains.
In addition, the application supports the fulfillment of the administration’s promise to strengthen the enforcement of antitrust law in the agricultural sector.
“The president’s budget provides the resources to build better, stronger, more resilient and fairer than ever before,” said Vilsack. “This is our moment to take bold action to resolve great challenges and bridge the broadband gap in rural America. to work with farmers, ranchers and producers to transform our nation’s food system and create new markets at home and abroad; protect and manage our nation’s forests and meadows from catastrophic forest fires; and to ensure that Americans have access to healthy and nutritious foods. The President’s budget pledges to rebuild better, and the USDA is at the heart of that historic commitment. “
“As our country faces the interlocking challenges of a global pandemic, an economic downturn, racial injustice and the climate crisis, Interior is committed to a nationwide approach to rebuild better,” said Haaland. “President Biden’s funding request provides tribal nations with urgently needed resources, prioritizes racial justice and justice, and invests in healthy countries, waterways and a clean energy economy that creates well-paid jobs.”
• Extends broadband access. Rural Americans are more than ten times more likely than urban residents to be without access to high quality broadband. The discretionary motion provides an increase of $ 65 million from the level set in 2021 for the rural e-connectivity program “Reconnect”, which provides grants and loans for the use of broadband in unsupervised areas. The benefits of high-speed Internet will serve as an economic offset for rural America, and the installation of broadband will create high-paying union jobs with benefits in rural communities. This investment will build on the coronavirus relief efforts deployed in 2020 to help deploy broadband infrastructure in non-broadband areas, particularly in rural areas.
• Invested in research and development capacity for farmers. American farmers need to be able to use new technology to compete in world markets while protecting soil and water, Vilsack said. The discretionary motion provides $ 4 billion, or nearly $ 680 million above the level set for 2021, for USDA’s research, education and contact programs. This investment in agricultural research will drive innovation and the application of science-based and data-driven agricultural decisions and practices. In addition, the discretionary motion provides for a $ 161 million increase from the level set in 2021 to support a multi-agency initiative to incorporate science-based tools into conservation planning to measure carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas monitoring , report and verify reduction, wildlife management and other environmental services at farm level and in federal states.
• Tackles the growing threat of forest fires. Climate change is increasing the severity and frequency of forest fires, transforming our nation’s forests at unprecedented rates, and destroying homes and businesses. The discretionary motion provides nearly $ 1.7 billion for high priority projects on hazardous fuels and forest resilience on a scale and scale to meet the challenge we are facing. This represents an increase of $ 476 million from the level decided in 2021. This funding supports the administration’s scientifically based approach to vegetation management at the Forest Service and the Ministry of the Interior for the protection of water catchment areas, habitats for wild animals and the interface between the wilderness and the city.
Haaland noted that the government is taking decisive action to address the existential threat posed by climate change. The discretionary motion provides an additional $ 550 million through 2021 to help reduce climate pollution, accelerate clean energy use, and expand efforts by all land management agencies in the department to adapt and resilient ecosystems.
“These investments will benefit Americans directly by helping limit climate-related disruption to coastal communities, the outdoor recreational economy and people whose lives and livelihoods are intertwined with internally managed land and resources,” she noted.