President Joe Biden's budget allocates billions of dollars toward advancing "equity" in dozens of government agencies, even as his administration attempts to sell it as a moderate proposal.
Biden's spending plan mentions "equity" and its derivatives more than 100 times, including in a $48 million allocation for an "equitable National Park System." With this money, the Department of the Interior "would expand operations at parks that preserve and tell the story of historically underrepresented and marginalized groups." The State Department will receive $2.6 billion under the plan to "advance gender equity." The Environmental Protection Agency will receive more than $1.5 billion to "advance racial equity and secure environmental justice for communities."
With a price tag of $5.8 trillion, the budget displays a commitment to the nebulous left-wing concept of "equity," which often includes "antiracism" training, explicitly favoring minority job applicants when hiring or direct cash handouts to aggrieved groups.
"Persistent systemic inequities and barriers to opportunity have denied this promise for so many," the introduction to Biden's budget reads. "That is why the president has taken historic steps to put equity at the center of his agenda—and why the president assembled the most diverse cabinet in American history to deliver on this government-wide effort."
The 158-page document provides a framework for funding the federal government's total spending in the 2023 fiscal year. The budget has been described by the New York Times as "centrist" and a "peace offering" to moderates by Politico. The Biden administration and members of the media have noted the budget contains only a few references to the president's "Build Back Better" agenda and includes increased funding for local police departments—proof, they say, of the president's pivot to the middle. But there is a clear focus on left-wing priorities.
The equity initiative with the largest price tag is the $2.6 billion for the State Department devoted to "advance gender equity and equality across a broad range of sectors, more than doubling the gender attributions of the policies of this administration," according to the document.
For border security, no money is specifically allocated for the hiring of more Border Patrol agents, even as they face more attempted migrant crossings than at any point in history. Biden's budget does, however, cut funding for detention beds in Immigration and Customs Enforcement holding facilities by more than 25 percent.
As part of the Biden administration's effort to "advance equity" and "environmental justice," the Environmental Protection Agency receives more than $1.5 billion. That money would be used to "help create good-paying jobs, clean up pollution, implement Justice40, advance racial equity, and secure environmental justice for communities that too often have been left behind." Biden launched his Justice40 Initiative in July 2021, promising "to deliver at least 40 percent of the overall benefits from federal investments in climate and clean energy to disadvantaged communities."
Another $20 million is allocated to the Department of Transportation's efforts "to promote equity and inclusion." This funding would help, among other things, mitigate or negate "the effects of structural obstacles to building wealth."
Nearly $400 million is budgeted for initiatives "that expand equitable inclusion in federal science and technology programs and the use of scientific and technological innovation to advance equitable outcomes." Another nearly $600 million is earmarked for building "science and technology capacity in underserved institutions" such as historically black colleges and universities.
NASA receives a $2.7 billion boost in funding. Of the agency's entire budget, $150 million of it goes to targeting "engagement of underserved populations, including underserved students and people of color." And $7.5 billion is devoted to the Artemis lunar exploration mission, which would "land the first woman and person of color on the moon."
Jordan Chamberlain contributed to this report.