The President will release his proposed budget this morning. Some of the proposals have been leaked from the President and White House including his proposals to expand child care and the child care tax credit or the proposal to expand access to community colleges. Under the new proposal for child care, the President would provide significant increases to the child care block grant, the CCDBG. As a result all families with incomes up to 200 percent of poverty and children under age four would be able to receive child care subsidies (if parents are working, attending school or job training). The proposal, if enacted would expand access to 1 million more children by 2025 while also increasing quality of that child care. There are approximately 1.6 million children covered by subsidies today with the number stagnant over the past decade and a half. The plan would condition the greater funding on requirements to build the supply of high-quality care for infants and toddlers; a population that is underserved and is not addressed in pre-k proposals.
The most significant part of the President’s budget will be his proposal to eliminate the sequestration and increase overall discretionary spending by more than $70 billion. Republican leaders have thrown cold water on many of the ideas but the Congress will have to deal with the across-the-board cuts (sequestration) that would take effect with the next budget year which starts in October. If they cannot come up with alternative budget framework, they will have to either come up with specific cuts voted out as part of either an omnibus budget or through what could be painful debates on each of the twelve appropriations bills. Without such action the automatic across the board cuts take place for both domestic and defense budgets.
While the President’s budget will be declared “dead on arrival” by some congressional opponents, if nothing else the President’s budget kicks off the formal budget making process.