By National Priorities Project

December 20, 2022


The budget deal released today prioritizes the military and the continuation of harsh Trump-era immigration policies above domestic programs, at a time when families are struggling with the effects of inflation and the enduring effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The deal includes the previously announced $858 billion for the Pentagon and nuclear weapons, and $772.5 billion for all domestic discretionary programs.

“This budget deal is shameful. It perpetuates the status quo, where domestic priorities never get equal footing with military spending. It’s unconscionable to keep throwing more money at Pentagon contractors when so many in this country are struggling needlessly,” said Lindsay Koshgarian, Program Director for the National Priorities Project at the Institute for Policy Studies.

This deal gives the military its highest budget since the height of the post-9/11 wars, and more than $100 billion more than the last budget under President Trump — an increase big enough to fund most of the still-unfunded priorities under President Biden’s Build Back Better plan. In a typical year, half or more of the Pentagon budget goes to corporate contractors, who have seen their stock prices soar since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The Pentagon recently failed its fifth audit in a row, the only major government agency unable to account for how it spends taxpayer dollars.

This deal also continues our broken and inhumane immigration policies, with budget increases for both Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

“This budget keeps us mired in Trump’s legacy of cruelty and inhumane treatment of immigrants, maintaining funding for deportations and violent border confrontations with migrants at Trump-era levels,” said Koshgarian.

The deal doesn’t include a proposed cut for immigration detention funding that would have allowed for more humane options for immigrants, a provision that had been included in both President Biden’s budget proposal, and earlier House and Senate versions of the bill.

While the bill includes incremental increases for some domestic programs, critical programs that progressives fought for are nowhere to be seen. The deal does not include any version of the expanded Child Tax Credit that helped cut child poverty by half, and which Congress allowed to expire a year ago. Nor does it include any major new provisions for child care or universal preschool, parts of the president’s Build Back Better agenda.

“Until we demand that Pentagon contractors and the Trump immigration legacy take a backseat to the needs of families and communities, we won’t see the kind of domestic investments that could be truly transformative for families and our economy,” Koshgarian said.