President Biden’s FY 2024 Budget Advances Gender Equity and Equality
The President’s FY 2024 Budget includes critical policies for women and families across the country and around the world. It will give families more breathing room; support workers and strengthen the care economy; expand access to high-quality health care and improve health outcomes; prevent and address gender-based violence; and advance gender equality around the world. Here is a look at some highlights:
GROWING THE ECONOMY FROM THE BOTTOM UP AND MIDDLE OUT
The President’s Budget details a fiscally and economically responsible blueprint to build on this record of progress, deliver on the agenda he laid out in his State of the Union Address, and finish the job: continuing to lower costs for families; protecting and strengthening Medicare and Social Security; growing the economy from the bottom up and middle out by investing in America and its people; and reducing the deficit by asking the wealthy and big corporations to pay their fair share.
The President’s economic strategy is producing results—with record-breaking job creation, strong economic growth, major investments in infrastructure, a resurgence of American manufacturing, and historic legislative accomplishments that are laying the foundation for long-term economic prosperity. The Budget builds on this record of progress through additional proposals to continue lowering everyday costs for the American people—from health insurance and prescription drugs, to higher education and housing, to utilities and child care.
Lowering Costs and Giving Families More Breathing Room
Cuts Taxes for Families with Children and American Workers. The President is calling for the restoration of the full Child Tax Credit enacted in the American Rescue Plan, which cut child poverty in half in 2021, to the lowest level in history. The Budget would expand the credit from $2,000 per child to $3,000 per child for children six years old and above, and to $3,600 per child for children under six. The Budget would also permanently reform the credit to make it fully refundable. The President also calls on the Congress to make the Earned Income Tax Credit expansion for childless workers permanent, which would help pull low-paid workers out of poverty.
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.
Strengthening 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.
Expanding Job Opportunities and Economic Opportunity
Empowers and Protects Workers. The Budget invests $2.3 billion, an increase of $430 million above the 2023 enacted level, in the Department of Labor’s (DOL) worker protection agencies. The Budget would enable DOL to protect workers’ wages and benefits, combat exploitative child labor, address the misclassification of workers as independent contractors, and improve workplace health and safety. The Budget also provides resources to support vigorous enforcement of the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, especially where employers have retaliated against or otherwise penalized employees for taking federally protected leave from work. Similarly, the Budget increases funding for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), to help level the playing field for workers, protecting their right to fair representation and better working conditions and secure equal opportunity for workers from all walks of life. The Budget would also strengthen the EEOC’s steadfast enforcement of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 to help protect the right of individuals with disabilities to full, equitable participation in the workplace.
Expands Workforce Training that Provides Pathways to Good Jobs. The Budget invests in evidence-based training models to ensure all 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 invests $335 million in Registered Apprenticeship, an earn-and-learn model, 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.
PROMOTING WOMEN’S HEALTHCARE AND DEFENDING REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS
In June 2022, the Supreme Court issued the Dobbs decision that overturned Roe v. Wade and eliminated a woman’s constitutional right to choose, taking away a right from the American people that had been the law of the land for nearly 50 years. In the wake of this ruling, the President has been clear that the only way to secure a woman’s right to choose is for the Congress to pass a law restoring the protections of Roe. In addition, the President has defended reproductive rights and protected access to safe and legal abortion—including signing two Executive Orders and a Presidential Memorandum to safeguard access to medication abortion and contraception, ensure patients receive emergency medical care and healthcare free from discrimination, protect patients’ and doctors’ privacy, and support patients traveling out of State for medical care.
Thanks to the Affordable Care Act and the Administration’s work to protect and expand it, more Americans have healthcare coverage than at any other time in history—and women can no longer be charged more for health insurance simply because they are women. Last year, the Administration approved requests from more than half of the States and the District of Columbia to extend postpartum Medicaid to 12 months. In June 2022, the President and Vice President released the Administration’s Blueprint for Addressing the Maternal Health Crisis, a whole-of-Government approach for combatting maternal mortality and morbidity and reducing persistent disparities.
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 reduce maternal mortality and morbidity rates; expand maternal health initiatives in rural communities; implement implicit bias training for health care 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.
Supports Family Planning Services for More Americans. For more than 50 years, Title X family planning clinics have played a critical role in ensuring access to a broad range of high-quality family planning and preventive health services. Most Title X clients live in poverty and the uninsured rate of Title X users is twice the national average, making the Title X family planning program a critical part of the public health safety net. The program has served as a point of entry into care for nearly 195 million people over its more than 50-year history. The Budget includes $512 million, a 79-percent increase above the 2023 enacted level, for the Title X Family Planning program to increase the number of patients served to 4.5 million.
MAKING OUR COMMUNITIES SAFER AND ADDRESSING GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE
From Day One, the Biden-Harris Administration has taken decisive and historic action to make America’s communities safer. Last year, the President brought Members of Congress from both parties together to secure the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act—the first significant piece of legislation to address the epidemic of gun violence in America’s communities in three decades. This historic legislation expands background checks and funds crisis intervention, including red-flag laws, and helps keep guns out of the hands of people, including convicted dating partners, who are a danger to themselves and others. It makes historic investments in upstream violence prevention and reduction programs and addressing the youth mental crisis by expanding community violence prevention programs and expanding trauma informed services to mitigate the impact of violence. And it builds on the Administration’s efforts to crack down on ghost guns, rogue dealers, and gun trafficking.
Prioritizes Efforts to End Gender-Based Violence and Supports Survivors. The Budget proposes $1 billion through funding administered by the Department of Justice to support implementation of programs through the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (VAWA), which was recently reauthorized and strengthened in 2022. The Budget supports substantial increases for longstanding VAWA programs, including key investments in legal assistance for victims, transitional housing, and sexual assault services. The Budget also proposes significant increases to support and protect survivors of gender-based violence through funding administered by the Department of Health & Human Services, including $519 million for the Family Violence Prevention and Services (FVPSA) program to support domestic and dating 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.
Strengthens Programs to Prevent and Respond to Sexual Assault. Sexual violence in the Armed Forces is a matter of national security and military readiness. Fulfilling the President’s promise to transform how the military addresses sexual assault, the Budget fully funds DOD’s implementation of the recommendations of the Independent Review Commission on Sexual Assault in the Military, and advances implementation of military justice reform, including the selection and training of specialized, independent trial counsel who will assume jurisdiction over sexual assault, domestic violence, and related crimes.
STRENGTHENING DEMOCRACY AND DEFENDS HUMAN RIGHTS GLOBALLY
In the face of growing threats to women’s human rights and opportunity around the world, the Administration continues to advance gender equity and equality at home and abroad. The Administration has worked to prevent and respond to gender-based violence, including where rape is used as a weapon of war. In addition, the Administration has supported the full and equal participation of women and girls in the economy by addressing barriers to participation, which will improve economic security for women and families and promote economic growth and development.
Advances Gender Equality Around the World. The Budget provides more than $3 billion to advance gender equity and equality globally, consistent with the Administration’s steadfast commitment to invest in opportunities for women and girls, including the LGBTQI+ community. The Budget includes funding to respond to and prevent gender-based violence, advance women’s economic empowerment, and strengthen the participation of women in conflict prevention, resolution, and recovery The Budget provides for $57 million to support the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and increases investments in high-impact and lifesaving voluntary family planning and reproductive health programs to address significant unmet global need for these services.