|The Administration released President Biden’s Full Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 Budget Request|
The Administration released President Biden’s Full Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 Budget Request, calling for an increase in funding to many agencies and proposing at 2.7 percent pay increase for federal employees.
Today, President Biden released his full fiscal year (FY) 2022 budget request, following the release of his summary (or skinny budget) last month, which includes a 16% increase in non-defense discretionary spending. The president is proposing $769 billion for civilian agencies and $753 billion for national defense programs, a 1.7% increase over fiscal 2021 defense spending. The full budget request also includes provisions from the President’s American Families Plan and American Jobs Plan.
As part of the request, the President calls for a 2.7 percent pay increase for federal employees. However, the document is silent as to whether any amount is allocated for locality pay and several press reports note that that issue has not yet been decided. Under the Federal Employees Pay Comparability Act of 1990, employees should receive a 2.2 percent increase prior to any increases to locality pay rates. A pay increase of 2.7 percent is also proposed for members of the military, providing parity for the first time in many years. This is a solid start to achieving the fair pay increase federal employees deserve. NTEU will continue to work with Congress and the Administration in support for the FAIR Act (H.R. 392/S. 561), which provides an average 3.2 percent increase consisting of a 2.2 percent across-the-board increase and 1.0 percent for locality pay.
In a welcome change, for the first time in several years, the President’s budget does not call for cuts to employee retirement and health care programs and efforts to roll back employee collective bargaining and due process rights. Rather, the budget request notes that “after decades of under-investment in a modern-day workforce, a failure to partner with labor unions, and ongoing, unwarranted attacks on its independence, the civil service is in need of repair and rebuilding.” It goes on to note that the proposed funding in the budget will help agencies implement Executive Order 14003, issued on January 22, 2021, which rescinded the previous administrations anti-union and Schedule F Executive Orders, as well as efforts to protect the health and safety of federal workers from COVID-19.
The budget request briefly discusses efforts underway to develop the President’s Management Agenda, which will likely include various means to improve federal hiring. Some proposals mentioned appear to be focused on changes to allow former employees to return to agencies at a higher grade that reflects gained experience and improving the Pathways Program for students and recent graduates. In addition, the document restates the Administration’s commitment to diversity and inclusion in the federal workforce.
Regarding specific agency funding, the proposal calls for providing the IRS with more than $13.5 billion for FY 2022, including $13.1 billion in base funding and an additional $417 million for enforcement via a program integrity cap adjustment. This funding would support a total of 81,902 FTEs, an increase of 8,493 over the FY 2021 Operating Plan. Combined with the additional $80 billion in funding over the next ten years the administration has requested as part of its American Families Plan, the IRS can begin reversing the adverse impact funding and staffing reductions have had on its capacity to carryout enforcement and taxpayer service activities, support the overhaul of IRS’ aging IT systems, and generate billions in additional tax revenue.
For CBP, the President’s budget includes over $150 million in additional funding for the Office of Field Operations (OFO). Moreover, the budget includes significant funding for the modernization of our nation’s ports of entry to improve border security and ensure more efficient processing of legal trade, travel, and commerce.
NTEU is also pleased that many other agencies have received improved funding allocations in the President's budget request, including a $15 million increase in base funding above the FY2021 Operating Plan for the Bureau of Fiscal Service and significant increases at HHS ($25 billion increase), DOE ($4.3 billion increase) and EPA ($2 billion increase). These increases are particularly welcome with programs the previous administration proposed abolishing along with the jobs of NTEU-represented employees, such as the Department of Energy's ARPA-E. In addition, we are pleased that, unlike the past four years, this budget submission does not seek to put any financial regulatory agencies under the appropriations process or otherwise harm the autonomy of these agencies.
Next month, Congress is expected to begin working on budget matters in earnest, with the House scheduled to begin marking-up appropriations bills on June 24. We will keep you updated as Congress begins its appropriations work.