President Barack Obama’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2015 includes $56 billion for what the White House calls an “Opportunity, Growth, and Security Initiative.”
The added spending, part of a $3.9 trillion budget request the Obama administration released yesterday, would boost outlays for education, research, infrastructure, public health and weapons modernization. The new funding would be split between defense and non-defense spending.
The $56 billion would be in addition to the $1.014 trillion in discretionary spending that was set under a two-year budget agreement enacted in December.
The spending levels set by that agreement “simply are not sufficient to ensure that the Nation is achieving its full potential in creating jobs, growing the economy, and promoting opportunity for all,” Obama’s Office of Management and Budget said in a budget document.
The new spending would be offset in part by closing a tax preference and making changes to spending programs dealing with spectrum auctions and Transportation Security Administration fees, according to the document.
“It is extremely disappointing that the President’s proposal today blatantly disregards the budget limits for fiscal year 2015″ and “ignores the hard-fought compromise he so recently endorsed,” Rep. Hal Rogers, a Kentucky Republican who leads the House Appropriations Committee, said in a statement.
“Given the current partisan political climate, there is little chance Congress will approve the president’s new spending initiatives and offsets,” Robert Litan, Bloomberg Government’s Director of Research, said in a BGOV fact sheet.
Republicans lead the House by a 232-199 margin. Democrats control 55 of the 100 Senate seats and probably will lose ground in the chamber, if not control of it, as they defend 21 of the 36 seats on the Nov. 4 ballot.
“Democrats seeking House and Senate seats in the 2014 midterm elections are likely to tout some or all of those spending initiatives (perhaps with some of the offsets) as key differences between them and their Republican counterparts,” Litan wrote.
Obama’s budget predicts that gross domestic product will rise 3.1 percent this year, which would be the strongest growth since 2005, Bloomberg’s Kasia Klimasinska reported.
For more about Obama’s budget proposal and the congressional reaction to it, see this Bloomberg News story by Roger Runningen and Derek Wallbank.