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Biden budget to put price tag on policy priorities, earn likely Republican rebuke By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks on tackling climate change prior to signing executive actions in the State Dining Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., January 27, 2021. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

By Jeff Mason and Andrea Shalal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House on Friday will lay out President Joe Biden’s budget for trillions of dollars in spending on infrastructure, education and other initiatives, but the plan is unlikely to sway Republicans who want to tamp down U.S. government spending.

Biden, a Democrat, will put price tags on his policy priorities in what is expected to be a roughly $6 trillion blueprint for the fiscal year that starts on Oct. 1.

The budget is Biden’s first since taking office in January and is largely a political document that kicks off what will likely be months of difficult negotiations with Congress.

It will build on a partial “skinny budget” the White House released last month that sought spending increases for fighting climate change, cancer and underperforming schools.

The new, longer document will spell out spending plans for other areas, including foreign aid and immigration.

Republicans are unlikely to embrace the plan.

Biden has tussled with Republicans over the price of his initiatives to grow the economy, recover from the pandemic and improve roads and bridges. No Republicans voted for his $1.9 trillion stimulus bill, but some touted its benefits later, drawing some chiding from the president.

Biden’s budget will reflect his initial proposal for some $4 trillion in spending on infrastructure, childcare and public education, including free community college tuition.

The White House has since said it would accept a less costly infrastructure bill of $1.7 trillion instead of the originally proposed $2.2 trillion plan. Republicans countered with a $928 billion offer, which has kept talks alive.

Biden has pledged to fund his proposals by increasing taxes on corporations and wealthy people as he seeks to create a reshaped, more equitable economy in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said on Thursday that the budget would push U.S. debt above the size of the U.S. economy, but would not contribute to inflationary pressures.

Despite the large price tag, not all of the promises Biden made as a presidential candidate will make it into the plan, the White House has said, sparking disappointment from progressive Democrats, who favor bigger increases in spending on social programs and cuts to defense.

The budget will include some $715 billion for the Department of Defense and modernization of the nuclear arsenal to deter China, while also developing future warfare capabilities, according to people familiar with the matter.

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