From Day One, President Biden has delivered on his promise to be a President for all Americans. The Biden-Harris Administration has taken decisive action to improve the lives of Americans across the country—from rural communities and bustling cities, to coastal regions and the heartland, and in both red states and blue states. As part of his work to bring America together in the pursuit of progress, President Biden has pursued a Unity Agenda focused on areas where members of both parties can come together: beating the opioid epidemic; tackling the mental health crisis; promoting tech accountability and the responsible development of artificial intelligence (AI); delivering on the sacred obligation to veterans and military families; and ending cancer as we know it.

From signing into law the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act and the PACT Act, to securing historic investments in cancer research and working with Congress to fundamentally change substance use disorder treatment in America, the President has been proud to work with Democrats and Republicans to achieve major progress that delivers on all aspects of this agenda. But there is still work to be done.

The Budget builds on the progress made over the past three years by making investments to accelerate and expand the President’s Unity Agenda. The President’s Budget:

Accelerates the Fight Against the Opioid Epidemic

Expands Access to Treatment for Substance Use Disorder and Invests in Overdose Prevention. The Administration has made historic advances in expanding access to treatment for opioid use disorder, including signing into law a bipartisan provision to expand the number of medical providers who can initiate treatment for opioid use disorder from 129,000 to nearly 2 million. The Budget includes $21.8 billion for substance use disorder treatment and recovery. The Budget increases funding for the State Opioid Response grant program, which has provided treatment services to over 1.2 million people and enabled States to reverse more than 500,000 overdoses with over 9 million purchased overdose reversal medication kits. The Budget also invests $713 million toward opioid use disorder prevention and treatment programs for veterans, as well as funding for a new technical assistance center to strengthen health providers’ understanding and treatment of women’s mental health and substance use. 

Combats Opioid Trafficking Networks. The Budget provides $2.3 billion to the Department of Justice to combat opioid trafficking and reduce the supply and demand of deadly illicit fentanyl in American communities, including $1.2 billion for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), $367 million for the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces, and $61 million for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). This also includes an additional $18 million in Counter-Fentanyl Threat Targeting Teams at the DEA to enhance America’s fight against the transnational criminal networks pushing deadly illicit fentanyl. These interdisciplinary teams of special agents, intelligence analysts, and data experts will map criminal organizations and build cases that lead to the dismantlement of entire drug trafficking networks and the deprivation of hundreds of millions of dollars to the Sinaloa and Jalisco cartels. This also includes $494 million in grants supporting efforts to address opioid use and trafficking, including $190 million for the Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Use Program, $95 million to support Drug Courts, and $51 million for anti-drug task forces.The Budget further invests $290 million in the High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas Program to provide state and local law enforcement with resources to combat the most dangerous illicit drug threats in their communities.

Disrupts the International Synthetic Drug Trade. The Budget includes $169 million to State for countering fentanyl and other synthetic drug production and trafficking. These resources would counter the worldwide flow of fentanyl and other synthetics that endanger public safety and health, and contribute to tens of thousands of drug-overdose deaths in the United States annually.

Reiterates the Administration’s Request for Immediate Funding to Counter Fentanyl at the Border. The Budget includes, and therefore reiterates the need for the Administration’s October 2023 supplemental request. The supplemental request includes investments to build longer-term capacity to counter fentanyl, totaling $1.2 billion for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). This amount includes $239 million to hire 1,000 additional CBP Officers to stop fentanyl and other contraband from entering the U.S., $100 million for Homeland Security Investigations to investigate and disrupt transnational criminal organizations and drug traffickers, and $849 million for cutting-edge detection technology at ports of entry.

The FY 2025 DHS Budget request for Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) contains a combined $4.5 billion for counternarcotics operations and fighting the flow of deadly fentanyl at the border. Additionally, the Administration remains committed to providing law enforcement with the resources and necessary personnel to defend our borders from illicit drug trade by reiterating the October 2023 emergency supplemental request for an additional $849 million for cutting edge drug detection technology at the border, $239 million for 1,000 additional CBP officers, $100 million to expand Homeland Security Investigations’ (HSI) capacity for counter-fentanyl investigations and enforcement, and $14 million for additional research and development of narcotics detection and forensics, for a total supplemental request for DHS of $1.2 billion. These resources are critical to the fight against illicit opioids. HSI fentanyl and opioid seizures have increased over 650 and 180 percent, respectively, between FY 2018 and FY 2022. In FY 2023, CBP and HSI seized over 43,000 pounds of fentanyl, leading to the arrest of over 5,600 individuals.

Tackles the Mental Health Crisis

Strengthens Mental Health Parity Protections. The Budget requires all health plans to cover mental health and substance use disorder benefits, ensures that plans have an adequate network of behavioral health providers, and improves the Department of Labor’s (DOL) ability to enforce the law. In addition, the Budget includes $275 million over 10 years to increase the Department’s capacity to ensure that large group market health plans and issuers comply with mental health and substance use disorder requirements, and to take action against plans and issuers that do not comply.

Expands Coverage and Invests in Behavioral Healthcare Services. In 2022, almost a quarter of adults suffered from mental illness, 13 percent of adolescents had serious thoughts of suicide, and overdose deaths continued near record highs. As a core pillar of his Unity Agenda, the President released a national strategy to transform how we understand and address mental health in America—and the Budget makes progress on this agenda by improving access to care for individuals and communities. The Budget makes significant investments in expanding the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline that is projected to respond to 7.5 million contacts from individuals in distress in 2025 alone. The Budget expands mental health care and support services in schools; expands CDC’s suicide prevention program to additional States, and tribal and territorial jurisdictions; and invests in strengthening the behavioral health workforce – including through the integration of behavioral health services into primary care settings. The Budget also expands access to behavioral health services through significant investments in Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics and Community Mental Health Centers. In addition, the Budget provides $1 billion to advance Health IT adoption and engagement in interoperability for certain behavioral health providers.

Bolsters Mental Health Supports for All Students. The mental health of students, teachers, and school staff is essential for their overall well-being and continued academic recovery, and continues to be a high priority of the Administration, which has delivered an additional $2.1 billion to mental health programs for students since 2021. Research shows that students who receive social, emotional, and mental and behavioral supports have better outcomes, including better academically. The Budget provides a combined total of $216 million for mental health programs, including $200 million from the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, a 900 percent increase in program funding since 2021. The funds will help to increase the number of school-based counselors, psychologists, social workers, and other mental health professionals in K-12 schools.

Promotes Tech Accountability and Responsible Innovation in Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Advances the Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy Development and Use of AI. In 2023, the President issued the landmark Executive Order 14110, “Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy Development and Use of Artificial Intelligence” to ensure that America leads the way in seizing the promise and managing the risks of AI. The Executive Order establishes new standards for AI safety and security, protects Americans’ privacy, advances equity and civil rights, stands up for consumers and workers, promotes innovation and competition, advances American leadership around the world, and more. The Budget provides over $3 billion across agencies in order to responsibly develop, test, procure, and integrate transformative AI applications across the Federal Government and supports the implementation of the Administration’s Executive Order. The Budget also proposes $300 million in mandatory funding to increase agency funding for AI, both to address major risks and to advance its use for public good.

Invests in New AI Safety Institute to Protect the American Public’s Safety, Security, and Rights. The Budget invests $65 million with the Department of Commerce to support the AI Safety Institute’s ambitious mandate to ensure AI models are safe, secure, and trustworthy, as well as other critical AI work. This funding would allow the Department to successfully implement central components of the Administration’s Executive Order. Specifically, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) U.S. AI Safety Institute will create guidelines, tools, benchmarks, and best practices to evaluate and mitigate risks using red-teaming and other methods. The Institute will develop technical guidance on issues such as authenticating content created by humans, watermarking AI-generated content, identifying and mitigating against harmful algorithmic discrimination and the creation of harmful synthetic content (such as deepfake image-based abuse), ensuring transparency, and enabling adoption of privacy-preserving AI, and would support the development of safe and trusted AI and support enforcement agencies’ efforts to protect the American public’ rights and safety.

Strengthens U.S. Leadership in AI by Democratizing AI innovation. The Budget also includes $30 million for the National AI Research Resource pilot (NAIRR), which is a crucial step in building a shared research infrastructure to strengthen and democratize access to computing and data resources for bold AI discoveries and innovations. The NAIRR creates public-private partnerships that will provide researchers and educators across the country with the tools and support to build an AI future that supports every member of the public and achieves America’s great aspirations.

Advances AI Governance, Innovation, and Risk Management Across the Federal Government. To capitalize on the opportunities and mitigate the risks of AI used by Federal agencies, the Administration is committed to advancing its use and management of AI for public purposes. The Budget provides $70 million for Federal agencies to establish agency Chief AI Officers accountable for their agency’s use of AI, adopt new AI technologies to improve Government services, and establish minimum safeguards for Government use of AI to protect the rights and safety of the public.

Bolsters AI and Tech Talent in the US Government. Executing on our ambitious AI agenda starts with people. The Budget includes $32 million to the U.S. Digital Service, General Services Administration, and Office of Personnel Management to support the AI Talent Surge, bringing AI and AI-enabling talent into government service and advancing AI priorities across the Federal Government. The AI Talent Surge is bringing dedicated people into service to leverage AI to improve government services; make smart policies and regulations around AI to protect people’s rights, safety, and privacy; and further AI research and development (R&D), so that the United States continues to lead the world in cutting-edge AI innovation.

Honors Our Nation’s Sacred Commitment to Veterans and Military Families

Expands Healthcare, Benefits, and Services for Veterans’ Environmental Exposures. The PACT Act represented the most significant expansion of VA healthcare and disability compensation benefits for veterans exposed to military related environmental exposures, including burn pits and Agent Orange, in 30 years. As part of the PACT Act, the Congress authorized the Cost of War Toxic Exposures Fund (TEF) to fund increased costs above 2021 funding levels for healthcare and benefits delivery for veterans exposed to certain environmental hazards—and ensure there is sufficient funding available to cover these costs without shortchanging other elements of veteran medical care and benefits delivery. The Budget continues this commitment and includes $24.5 billion for the TEF in 2025, through funds appropriated by the Fiscal Responsibility Act, which is $19.5 billion above the 2023 enacted level.

Strengthens VA Medical Care and Invests in Critical Veteran Medical Facilities. In addition to fully funding inpatient, outpatient, mental health—including substance use treatment—and long-term care services, the Budget supports programs that enhance VA healthcare quality and delivery, including a $2 billion investment for non-recurring maintenance to improve medical facility infrastructure, and continued efforts to address the opioid and drug overdose epidemic. The Budget includes $2.8 billion in budgetary resources for construction and expansion of critical infrastructure and facilities, as well as provides $141 million for grants for construction of State extended care facilities to deliver high-quality healthcare, benefits, and services for veterans.

Prioritizes Veterans’ Mental Health Services and Suicide Prevention for Military Servicemembers and Veterans. The Budget invests $135 million within VA research programs, together with $17.1 billion within the VA Medical Care program, to increase access to quality mental healthcare, with the goal of helping veterans take charge of their treatment and live full, meaningful lives. In addition, the Budget provides $583 million to further advance the Administration’s veteran suicide prevention initiatives, including continued support of the Veterans Crisis Line’s 988 and additional support for VA’s National Suicide Prevention Strategy. The Budget also includes funding to support the Department of Defense’s efforts on Suicide Prevention and Response and implements recommendations from the Suicide Prevention and Response Independent Review Committee. This funding will support improving the delivery of mental healthcare, addressing stigma and other barriers to care, revising suicide prevention training, and promoting a culture of lethal means safety within the military. It also includes funding to support the Department of Defense’s effort to continue implementing recommendations from the Independent Review Commission on Sexual Assault in the Military, with an emphasis on Sexual Assault Prevention activities designed to increase awareness, provide support mechanisms to victims, and significantly reduce the environment for, tolerance of, and occurrence of sexual assault in the Joint Force.

Invests in Overdose Prevention and Treatment Programs for Veterans. The Budget invests $713 million toward opioid use disorder prevention and treatment programs for veterans, including using predictive analytics to stratify a patient’s risk of overdose, provide enhanced care as appropriate, and to support programs authorized in the Jason Simcakoski PROMISE Act. In addition, investments contribute to the distribution of life saving opioid reversal medications, such as naloxone, to veterans, and development of an opioid safety toolkit that provides clinicians materials that aid in decisions related to safe opioid prescribing and non-opioid pain management options.

Supports Women Veterans’ Healthcare. The Budget invests $13.7 billion for women veterans’ healthcare, including $1.1 billion toward women’s gender-specific care. More women are choosing VA healthcare than ever before, with women accounting for over 30 percent of the increase in enrolled veterans over the past five years. Investments support comprehensive specialty medical and surgical services for women veterans, improve maternal health outcomes, increase access to infertility counseling and assisted reproductive technology, and eliminate copayments for contraceptive coverage. The Budget also improves the safety of women veterans seeking healthcare at VA facilities by supporting implementation of the zero-tolerance policy for sexual harassment and assault.

Bolsters Efforts to End Veteran Homelessness. The President believes that every veteran should have permanent, safe, and sustainable housing with access to healthcare and other supportive services. The Budget invests $3.2 billion in VA resources to end current veteran homelessness and prevent veterans from becoming homeless in the future. In addition to investments made in VA programs, the Budget for the Department of Housing and Urban Development provides $13 billion in mandatory funding to expand the Housing Choice Voucher program to reach an additional 400,000 extremely low-income veteran families, paving a path to guaranteed assistance for all who have served the Nation and are in need.

Fulfills America’s Commitment to Military Families. Military families are key to the readiness and well-being of the All-Volunteer Force, and therefore are critical to national security. The Budget continues to support military families by prioritizing programs, including the Secretary of Defense’s Taking Care of People initiatives, that seek to increase access to behavioral health providers; advance military spouse employment opportunities, including through implementation of the Executive Order on Advancing Economic Security for Military and Veteran Spouses, Military Caregivers, and Survivors; and support the establishment of full-day pre-school for military children at DoDEA schools both stateside and overseas. The Budget continues to support increases to high-quality childcare for military families via the Child Care Workforce Initiative. The Budget also proposes to increase the income eligibility threshold for the Basic Needs Allowance from 150 percent to 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines to help promote military families’ economic security. The Budget also provides critical funding for the Department of Veteran Affairs Program of General Caregivers Support Services, and specifically provides $2.9 billion for the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers, which includes stipend payments and support services to help empower family caregivers of eligible veterans.

Honors the Memory of All Veterans. The Budget includes $495 million to ensure veterans and their families have access to exceptional memorial benefits. These funds maintain national shrine standards at the 158 VA-managed cemeteries.

Invests in Health Innovation to End Cancer as We Know It

Advances Progress toward Biden Cancer Moonshot Goals. The President and First Lady reignited the Biden Cancer Moonshot to mobilize a national effort to end cancer as we know it—spurring tremendous action across the Federal Government and from the public and private sectors, and building a strong foundation for the work ahead. To date, the Cancer Moonshot has announced more than 60 new programs, policies, and resources to address five priority actions including improving access to cancer screening, understanding and addressing environmental and toxic exposures, making progress on cancer prevention, driving innovation to reach communities and individuals, and boosting support for patients, families, and caregivers. More than 120 private companies, non-profits, academic institutions, and patient groups have also stepped up with new actions and collaborations.

The Budget makes significant investments to work toward the President and First Lady’s signature Cancer Moonshot goal of reducing the cancer death rate by at least 50 percent over the next 25 years and improving the experience of people who are living with or who have survived cancer. These investments include an increase of more than $2 billion across the National Cancer Institute, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cancer projects, and additional funding for research, precision oncology, and cancer care across Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) programs, as well as mandatory funds for the Indian Health Service beginning in 2026. The Budget provides $1.5 billion for the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) to supercharge high-impact research and development to improve American health outcomes and deliver breakthroughs on cancer as well as diabetes, dementia, and more. The Budget also provides $661 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 of the Biden Cancer Moonshot.


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