The President is expected to deliver his proposed FY 2024 budget request to Congress on Thursday, with some additional details to be released in the days and weeks that follow. While there is much unknown about this budget, there are predictable trends in this process – most notably that proposed budgets are often delivered late and are largely dismissed by a divided Congress, both of which are accurate for the FY 2024 Budget.
The proposed budget is a recommendation to Congress; with no teeth to force Congress to include its provisions. The budget document more often than not serves as part messaging and part agenda setting for the White House, providing an opportunity to highlight the President’s priorities for the year and elevate the administration’s narrative around the economy, as well as their policy solutions. It will also preview some of the priorities and messaging we are likely to see on the campaign trail leading up to the 2024 election.
While the budget mostly contains specific funding categories (and the top-line dollar amount), the broader content of the budget may be more informative. Most interesting to many budget observers are the economic projections that come with the budget, effectively outlining the impact the proposals will have on the economy (which will most definitely be disputed by Republicans).
This year, we also expect some discussion around entitlement spending given the political debate that has emerged between Republicans and Democrats. There will also likely be some prioritized tax proposals, which could become a base proposal for Democrats should a tax measure be considered in Congress this year. Additionally, the White House could use the budget proposal to make recommendations around current issues, ranging from solutions related to rail reforms to U.S. alignment with Ukraine.
While not everyone will find the budget worth the read, it is an important roadmap to understand how the White House is positioned. It also serves as the launching point for the Fiscal Year 2024 funding debate in Congress, so expect a large number of oversight hearings to kick off that process as soon as the budget is delivered.