On his first day in office, the President signed a sweeping executive order directing the entire Federal government to advance an ambitious equity and racial justice agenda—not as a one-year project, but as part of a sustained commitment to make the promise of America real for every American, including rural communities, communities of color, women and girls, Tribal communities, LGBTQI+ individuals, people with disabilities, and communities impacted by persistent poverty. Since then, the Biden-Harris Administration has made significant progress advancing equity across the Federal Government, including by releasing a second executive order in February 2023 that strengthens the government’s ability to create opportunities for communities and populations that have been historically underserved, and continues to build an America in which all can participate, prosper, and reach their full potential.
The President’s Budget builds on that progress by making historic investments to support underserved communities and combat racial disparities across the Nation, including in health, education, and economic opportunity.
ADDRESSES INEQUITY IN THE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM
- Advances Maternal Health and Health Equity. The United States has the highest maternal mortality rate among developed nations, and rates are disproportionately high for Black and American Indian and Alaska Native women. The Budget includes $471 million to support implementation of the White House Blueprint for Addressing the Maternal Health Crisis to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity rates and address persistent disparities; expand maternal health initiatives in rural communities; implement implicit bias training for healthcare providers; create pregnancy medical home demonstration projects; and address the highest rates of perinatal health disparities, including by supporting the perinatal health workforce. In addition, the Budget requires all States to provide continuous Medicaid coverage for 12 months postpartum, eliminating gaps in health insurance at a critical time.
- Expands Access to Quality, Affordable Health Care. The Budget invests $150 billion over 10 years to improve and expand Medicaid home and community-based services, such as personal care services, which would allow older Americans and individuals with disabilities to remain in their homes and stay active in their communities as well as improve the quality of jobs for home care workers. And because community health centers—which provide comprehensive services regardless of ability to pay—serve one in three people living in poverty and one in five rural residents, the Budget puts the Health Center Program on a path to double its size and expand its reach. To bolster the health care workforce, the Budget provides a total of $966 million in 2024 to expand the National Health Service Corps, which provides loan repayment and scholarships to healthcare professionals in exchange for practicing in underserved areas, and a total of $350 million to expand programs that train and support the nursing workforce.
- Supports Survivors of Domestic Violence and Other Forms of Gender-Based Violence. The Budget proposes significant increases to support and protect survivors of gender-based violence, including $519 million for the Family Violence Prevention and Services (FVPSA) program to support domestic violence survivors—double the 2023 enacted level. This amount continues funding availability for FVPSA-funded resource centers, including those that support the LGBTQI+ community. The Budget would provide additional funding for domestic violence hotlines and cash assistance for survivors of domestic violence, as well as funding to support a project evaluating services for survivors at the intersection of housing instability, substance use coercion, and child welfare. In addition, the Budget would provide over $66 million for victims of human trafficking and survivors of torture, an increase of nearly $17 million from the 2023 enacted level.
- Guarantees Adequate and Stable Funding for IHS. The Administration is committed to upholding the United States’ trust responsibility to Tribal nations by addressing the historical underfunding of the Indian Health Service. The enactment of an advance appropriation for 2024 for IHS was a historic and welcome step towards the goal of securing adequate and stable funding to improve the overall health status of American Indians and Alaska Natives. Building on the advance appropriation, the Budget requests an additional $3 billion in 2024 for a total of $8.1 billion in discretionary resources. The Budget proposes all IHS resources as mandatory beginning in 2025.
- Supports Rural Health. Rural America faces persistent disparities in access to health care, including higher rates of uninsured people, limited health care provider availability, and rural hospital closures. Including federal funding to provide Medicaid-like coverage to individuals in States that have not adopted Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, as the Budget proposes, is critical for rural communities. The Budget also includes investments to improve the health of rural communities, including by helping rural hospitals stay open, expanding the pipeline of rural health care workers, and facilitating access to quality care.
- Invests in the Treatment and Prevention of Infectious Diseases. A critical component of the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to addressing health equity is addressing the disproportionate impact of infectious diseases on racial minorities and the LGBTQI+ communities. The Budget invests $850 million in the Ending the HIV Epidemic Initiative across HHS to aggressively reduce new HIV cases, increase access to pre-exposure prophylaxis (also known as PrEP), and ensure equitable access to services and supports for those living with HIV. The Budget also reduces Medicaid costs by eliminating barriers to accessing PrEP for Medicaid beneficiaries and proposes a new mandatory program to guarantee PrEP at no cost for all uninsured and underinsured individuals, provide essential wrap-around services through States, IHS, Tribal entities, and localities, and establish a network of community providers to reach underserved areas and populations. The Budget also includes a new mandatory proposal for a national program to significantly increase access to curative medications, and expand implementation of complementary efforts such as screening, testing, and provider capacity with a specific focus on high-risk populations.
REDRESSES INEQUITY IN HOUSING
- Advances Equity by Preventing and Redressing Housing Discrimination. The Budget provides $90 million to support State and local fair housing enforcement organizations and to further education, outreach, and training on rights and responsibilities under Federal fair housing laws. The Budget also invests in HUD staff and technical assistance to affirmatively further fair housing and reduce barriers that restrict housing and neighborhood choice.
- Expands Access to Affordable Rent through the Housing Choice Voucher Program. The Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program currently provides 2.3 million low-income families with rental assistance to obtain housing in the private market. The Budget provides $32.7 billion, an increase of $2.4 billion over the 2023 enacted level, to maintain services for all currently assisted families and—together with HCV program reserves—to expand assistance to an additional 180,000 households, particularly those who are experiencing homelessness or fleeing domestic violence. To further ensure that more households have access to safe and affordable housing, the Budget provides $9 billion in mandatory funding to establish a housing voucher program for all 20,000 youth aging out of foster care annually; and provides $13 billion to incrementally expand rental assistance for 450,000 extremely low-income veteran families, paving a path to guaranteed assistance for all who have served the Nation and are in need.
- Advances Efforts to End Homelessness. To prevent and reduce homelessness, the Budget provides $3.7 billion, an increase of $116 million over the 2023 enacted level, for HUD Homeless Assistance Grants to meet renewal needs and expand assistance to approximately 25,000 additional households, including survivors of domestic violence and homeless youth. These targeted resources would support the Administration’s recently released Federal Strategic Plan to End Homelessness. The Budget also provides $505 million for Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS, serving a population with a disproportionately high rate of homelessness and providing a critical link to services.
- Prevents Evictions. To assist renters in accessing resources to avoid eviction, make the legal process during eviction proceedings fairer, and mitigate future housing instability, the Budget provides $3 billion in mandatory spending for competitive grants to promote and solidify State and local efforts to reform eviction policies by providing access to legal counsel, emergency rental assistance, and other forms of rent relief.
ADVANCES EDUCATIONAL EQUITY AND PATHWAYS TO OPPORTUNITY
- Invests in High-Poverty Schools. To help ensure that every student receives a high-quality education, the Budget provides $20.5 billion for Title I, which would continue historic progress in increasing Title I funding over the past two years. Title I provides critical funding to 90 percent of school districts across the Nation, helping them to provide students in low-income communities the academic opportunities and support they need to succeed. This funding addresses chronic funding gaps between high-poverty schools—which disproportionately serve students of color—and their wealthier counterparts.
- Bolsters Support for Children with Disabilities. Every child with a disability should have access to the high-quality early intervention, special education services, and personnel needed to thrive in school and graduate ready for college or a career. The Budget invests $16.8 billion in Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) grants to support special education and related services for more than seven million students with disabilities in grades Pre-K through 12, an increase of $2.1 billion above the 2023 enacted level. The Budget also invests $932 million in IDEA Part C grants that support early intervention services for infants and families with disabilities that are critical to supporting children’s developmental and academic outcomes. Increased funding would support States in implementing important reforms to expand enrollment of underserved children, including children of color, children from low-income families, and children living in rural areas.
- Expands Access to Affordable, High-Quality Early Child Care and Learning. Too many families across America cannot access high-quality, affordable child care—preventing parents from working and holding back our entire economy. The President’s Budget enables states to increase child care options for more than 16 million young children and lowers costs so that parents can afford to send their children to high-quality child care. The Budget also funds a Federal-State partnership that provides high-quality, universal, free preschool to support healthy child development and ensure children enter kindergarten ready to succeed. The Budget provides $22.1 billion for HHS’s existing early care and education programs, an increase of $2.1 billion over the 2023 enacted level, which includes $9 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant to expand access to quality, affordable child care for families across the Nation. In addition, the Budget helps young children enter kindergarten ready to learn by providing $13.1 billion for Head Start, an increase of $1.1 billion over the 2023 enacted level.
EXPANDS JOB OPPORTUNITIES AND ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY
- Expands Workforce Training and Career-Connected Learning that Provide Pathways to Good Jobs. The Budget invests in evidence-based training models to ensure all students and workers—including women, workers of color, and workers in rural areas—have the skills they need for the good jobs being created by the President’s historic legislative accomplishments. The Budget provides mandatory funding to expand free community college, and includes a $500 million discretionary program focused on free tuition for in-demand job training programs. The Budget invests $335 million in Registered Apprenticeship to provide debt-free pathways to careers in construction, clean energy, semiconductor manufacturing, and other in-demand industries. The Budget also provides $200 million for the new Sectoral Employment through Career Training for Occupational Readiness (SECTOR) program, which will support development and expansion of public-private partnerships to equitably deliver high-quality training in growing industries, and invests $100 million to help community colleges partner with employers and the public workforce system to design and deliver effective training models in communities across the Nation. Finally, the Budget provides $200 million to better connect high schools to employers and community colleges through dual enrollment, work-based learning, and career advising.
- Supports Minority-Owned Business to Narrow Racial Wealth Gaps. The Budget increases the capacity of the Minority Business Development Agency by providing the full $110 million authorized in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which would bolster services provided to minority-owned, including women of color-owned, enterprises by expanding the Business Center program, funding Rural Business Centers, opening new regional offices, and supporting innovative initiatives to foster economic resiliency.
- Expands Access to Credit. The Budget provides $341 million for the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund, an increase of $17 million, or 5 percent, above the 2023 enacted level, which provides historically underserved and often low-income communities access to credit, capital, and financial support to grow businesses, increase affordable housing, and reinforce healthy neighborhood development. To better address the shortage of long-term affordable credit for development projects in disadvantaged communities and unlock up to $500 million in financing support, the Budget also includes a $10 million subsidy for the CDFI Fund’s Bond Guarantee Program.
- Supports Economic Opportunity in Rural and Tribal Communities. The Budget provides $32 million to expand the Rural Partners Network (RPN), an all-of-government program led by the U.S. Department of Agriculture that partners with rural and Tribal communities to access resources and funding to create local jobs, build infrastructure, and support long-term economic stability on their own terms. Through RPN, USDA is hiring new full-time federal staff who are from the region to work hand in hand with RPN community leaders. This investment will also support Rural.gov, a one-stop-shop for all rural communities to access Federal resources.
ADVANCES ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE
- Bolsters Climate Resilience. The Budget invests more than $24 billion to help build communities’ resilience to floods, wildfires, storms, extreme heat, and drought brought on by climate change, expand conservation and ecosystem management, strengthen America’s natural disaster response capabilities, increase the resilience of rural housing to the impacts of climate change while reducing rent burdens, and ensure the resilience of our nation’s defense to climate change.
- Advances Equity and Environmental Justice. The Administration continues to prioritize efforts to deliver environmental justice in communities across the United States, including meeting the President’s Justice40 commitment to ensure at least 40 percent of the benefits of Federal investments in climate and clean energy reach disadvantaged communities, including rural and Tribal communities. The Budget bolsters these efforts by investing nearly $1.8 billion across EPA to support creating high-quality jobs, cleaning up pollution, implementing the Justice40 Initiative, advancing racial equity, and securing environmental justice for communities that bear the brunt of toxic pollution and impacts of climate change, including the increased health risks. The Budget also ensures Federal agencies will have the staff and resources they need to advance racial equity and to promote environmental, health, and civil rights protection for communities nationwide, to fulfill the Administration’s whole-of-government equity and environmental justice objectives.
- Supports the President’s Goal of Accelerating the Replacement of All Lead Pipes and Upgrades the Nation’s Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure. The Budget includes $219 million to remediate lead contamination in water and updates the cross-Government Lead Pipe Replacement Funding Inventory that was published for the first time with the 2023 President’s Budget. The Budget also provides EPA more than $4 billion for water infrastructure to advance efforts to upgrade drinking water and wastewater infrastructure nationwide, with a focus on decreasing health disparities in underserved and rural communities that have historically been overlooked.
- Reduces Health and Environmental Hazards for At-Risk Communities. The Budget includes nearly $8.5 billion for DOE to support the cleanup of communities used during the Manhattan Project and Cold War for nuclear weapons production and ensure cleanup remedies protect human health and the environment. The Budget also provides approximately $356 million for EPA’s Superfund program to continue cleaning up some of the Nation’s most contaminated land and respond to environmental emergencies and natural disasters as part of a cancer prevention strategy. In addition, an estimated $2.5 billion in Superfund tax revenue will be available to EPA in 2024. The Administration will ensure investments for the cleanup of legacy pollution advance the Justice40 Initiative and benefit disadvantaged communities.
STRENGTHENS THE CARE ECONOMY
- Provides National, Comprehensive Paid Family and Medical Leave. The vast majority of America’s workers do not have access to paid family leave, including three out of four private sector workers. Among the lowest-paid workers, who are predominately women and workers of color, 92 percent have no access to paid family leave through their employers. The Budget proposes to establish a national, comprehensive paid family and medical leave program, providing up to 12 weeks of leave to allow eligible workers to take time off to care for and bond with a new child; care for a seriously ill loved one; heal from their own serious illness; address circumstances arising from a loved one’s military deployment; or find safety from domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.
- Calls for Paid Sick Leave for All Workers. Millions of workers in America have to choose between a needed paycheck and taking care of a family member or themselves when they’re sick. Workers without paid sick days are more likely to go to work when sick, send their child to school when sick, and do without the healthcare they need to get better. Paid sick days are good for business, leading to lower employee turnover and increased productivity, and reducing the spread of contagious diseases. The President calls on the Congress to require employers to provide seven job-protected paid sick days each year to all workers and ensure that employers cannot penalize workers for taking time off to address their health needs, the health needs of their families or to seek safety from domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking.
- Advances Equity in the Child Welfare System. Improving the child welfare system will benefit all Americans, including the Black and Native American families who are overrepresented in, and too often failed by, the current system. The Budget proposes to expand and incentivize the use of evidence-based foster care prevention services to keep families safely together and reduce the number of children entering foster care. The Budget provides States with support and incentives to place more foster children with relatives or other adults who have an existing emotional bond with the children and fewer children in group homes and institutions, while also providing additional funding to support youth who age out of care without a permanent caregiver. The Budget proposes to nearly double flexible funding for States through the Promoting Safe and Stable Families program, and proposes new provisions to expand access to legal representation for children and families in the child welfare system. In addition, the Budget proposes to make the adoption tax credit refundable and to extend the credit to legal guardianships, which would reduce the financial burden on low- and moderate-income families wishing to pursue adoption as well as for families who opt for legal guardianship.
COMMITS TO CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM AND INVESTS IN CIVIL RIGHTS
- Invests in Federal Law Enforcement, Public Safety, Community Violence Interventions, and Prevention to Combat Gun Violence and Other Violent Crime. The Budget makes robust investments to bolster Federal law enforcement capacity. The Budget includes $17.8 billion for DOJ law enforcement, including a total of nearly $2 billion for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) to expand multijurisdictional gun trafﬁcking strike forces with additional personnel, increase regulation of the ﬁrearms industry, and implement the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. The Budget also includes $1.9 billion for the U.S. Marshals Service to support personnel dedicated to ﬁghting violent crime, including through fugitive apprehension and enforcement operations. And the Budget provides $51 million to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to support the continued implementation of enhanced background checks required by the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act and provides the U.S. Attorneys with an additional $16.7 million to add 130 new personnel to support the prosecution of violent crimes. The Budget also continues to fund the President’s comprehensive Safer America Plan, including funding to put 100,000 additional police officers on our streets for accountable, community-oriented policing.
- Supports Effective and Accountable State, Local, and Tribal Law Enforcement and Public Safety. The Budget provides DOJ $4.9 billion in discretionary resources for State and local grants to enhance public safety, including $537 million for the COPS Hiring Program, and $30 billion in mandatory resources to fully fund President Biden’s Safer America Plan, a comprehensive blueprint to protect the safety of our communities through evidence-based strategies that promote effective and accountable crime prevention. As part of the Safer America plan, the Budget includes funding to put 100,00 additional police officers on the street for accountable community policing. The officers will be recruited, trained, hired, and supervised — consistent with the standards in the President’s Executive Order — in order to enhance trust and public safety. The Budget requests $19.4 billion over 10 years for crime prevention strategies and affirms the President’s goal to provide $5 billion over 10 years for community violence interventions. The Budget also includes $717 million, an $86 million increase, in Tribal public safety and justice funding at the Department of the Interior.
- Reinvigorates Federal Civil Rights Enforcement. In order to address longstanding inequities and strengthen civil rights protections, the Budget invests $252 million, an increase of $62 million over the 2023 enacted level, in the DOJ Civil Rights Division. These resources would support police reform via pattern-or-practice investigations, the prosecution of hate crimes, enforcement of voting rights, and efforts to provide equitable access to justice.
- Prioritizes Efforts to End Gender-Based Violence. The Budget proposes $1 billion to support implementation of programs through the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (VAWA), which was recently reauthorized and strengthened in 2022. This is a $300 million or 43-percent increase over the 2023 enacted level, which was the highest funding level in history. The Budget funds new VAWA programs to address online abuse, and provides substantial increases for longstanding VAWA programs, including key investments in legal assistance for victims, transitional housing, and sexual assault services. In addition, the Budget provides $120 million, an increase of $65 million above the 2023 enacted level, to the Ofﬁce of Justice Programs for the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative to address the rape kit backlog, and for the Regional Sexual Assault Investigative Training Academies Program.
- Improves Public Safety and Fairness in Criminal and Juvenile Justice Systems. The Budget advances and invests in comprehensive, evidence-informed, and high-impact initiatives to enhance public safety and advance equity in the criminal and juvenile justice systems. The Budget supports key investments to provide comprehensive, intensive, and market-driven workforce development services and reentry to people in the Federal prison system. The Budget also invests $300 million to support the first year of a new ten-year Accelerating Justice System Reform program as part of the President’s Safer America Plan, with a total of $14.7 billion in mandatory funding requested over the following nine years, which will provide state, local, and tribal governments with additional resources they need to advance evidence-based strategies that will prevent violence and ease the burden on law enforcement and the court system in cases that do not merit their intervention. Doing so not only enhances public safety, but also delivers evidence-based criminal justice reform that advances equity. The Budget also proposes $760 million for juvenile justice programs, an increase of $360 million over the 2023 enacted level, to bolster diversionary juvenile justice strategies.
PROMOTES EQUITY ACROSS FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SERVICES
- Improves Language Access. The Budget proposes funding for multiple agencies, including HHS, DOJ, and DOL, to strengthen language access services to promote meaningful access to government programs, services, and benefits for individuals with limited English proficiency (LEP).
- Enables the Census to Reach Historically Undercounted Populations. The Budget provides resources for the Census Bureau within the Department of Commerce for research and design work on the 2030 Census focused on better reaching and engaging historically undercounted populations, such as the Latino and Black populations, and the American Indian and Alaskan Native communities who live on reservations.
- Helps Underserved Communities Navigate Federal Funding Opportunities. The Budget proposes $20 million for the Economic Development Administration within DOC to advance the Department’s commitment to increase outreach and support for Indigenous communities, with a particular focus on supporting awareness and technical assistance for financial assistance opportunities.
- Improves Access to Social Security Services. The Administration is committed to making it easier for people to access the services they rely on, including individuals experiencing homelessness, children with disabilities, and people with mental and intellectual disabilities. The Budget makes investments in the Social Security Administration to decrease customer wait times, simplify the Supplemental Security Income application processes, and increase outreach to people who are difficult to reach. SSA would also continue to modernize its information technology systems to make more services available online and improve 800 Number access for those who call.