Adam S. Olsen- Washington, D.C.
March 9, 2023

President Joe Biden proposed the third budget of his presidency and his first to a divided Congress earlier today.  The $6.8 trillion budget plan seeks to increase spending on the military and a wide range of new social programs while also reducing future budget deficits.  While Republican control of the House ensures the full blueprint has no chance of becoming law, it sets the stakes for a bigger fight over raising the federal debt limit and the nation’s fiscal trajectory.  The budget contains some $5 trillion in proposed tax increases on high earners and corporations over the course of a decade, mostly to offset new spending programs intended to help middle class and the poor.  Mr. Biden’s plan also aims to reduce budget deficits by nearly $3 trillion over that time, compared with the nation’s current path.  The proposal to raise taxes on wealthy Americans to help cover priorities like Medicare and Social Security in his 2024 budget calls for a top marginal income tax rate of 39.6%, up from 37%, which was reduced as part of former President Donald Trump’s signature tax legislation.  The repeal would apply to single filers making more than $400,000 and married couples with income exceeding $450,000 per year.  The budget also aims to tax capital gains at the same rate as regular income for those earning more than $1 million and close the so-called carried interest loophole, which allows wealthy investment fund managers to pay a lower tax rate than everyday workers.

FACT SHEET: The President’s Budget Reduces Deficits by Nearly $3 Trillion Over 10 Years.

The budget also proposes:

Restore the enhanced child tax credit

$35 insulin for all Americans

Reduce prescription drug costs for seniors

Make enhanced Obamacare subsidies permanent

Increase food security

Reduce maternal mortality

Lower Medicaid spending

Make college more affordable

Universal preschool and affordable child care

Provide paid family and medical leave

Military defense and support for Ukraine

For today, the Senate convened at 10:00 A.M. and voted to confirm Daniel Werfel, the former acting commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, to lead the IRS.  He was approved on a bipartisan 54-42 vote.  Werfel’s confirmation to the agency comes after he was grilled by the Senate Committee on Finance last month on how he plans to utilize the money in new funding coming to the IRS over the next decade to revitalize the tax agency as taxpayers could see increased audit rates. Democrats approved the $80 billion for the agency last year when they approved the Inflation Reduction Act in a party-line vote. Democrats backed the funding in its bid to crack down on tax dodgers and to provide better services for taxpayers, arguing that the IRS could boost federal revenue by more than $100 billion over the 10-year time period if they collect more in taxes.

The Senate is also expected to consider James Edward Simmons, Jr. to be United States District Judge for the Southern District of California and Maria Araújo Kahn to be United States Circuit Judge for the Second Circuit.

The House convened at 10:00 A.M. and is expected to complete consideration of H.R. 140 – Protecting Speech from Government Interference Act and H.J. Res. 27 – Providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the rule submitted by the Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers, Department of Defense and the Environmental Protection Agency relating to “Revised Definition of ‘Waters of the United States.’  The resolution would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers from implementing or enforcing certain regulations related to the nation’s waters and wetlands under the Clean Water Act (CWA).

Adam S. Olsen, Washington, D.C.