By Rob Garver
VOA News
June 01, 2021

WASHINGTON - When Democrat Joe Biden ran for vice president in 2008, he delivered a speech in which he repeated a saying he attributed to his father: “Don’t tell me what you value. Show me your budget, and I’ll tell you what you value.”

At the time, it was delivered as a criticism of the policies of Senator John McCain, the Republican nominee for president who was running against Biden’s ticket-mate, Barack Obama. Last week, though, when Biden unveiled the first budget request of his own presidency, some of his supporters in the more liberal corners of the Democratic Party may have found themselves wondering about Biden’s values.

While the $6 trillion budget request for fiscal year 2022 proposes significant spending on many of the party’s priorities, including education, support for families, clean energy and more, there are zero dollars allocated for a number of things Biden campaigned on heavily during his presidential run, including student loan forgiveness, a public option for health insurance and reform of the unemployment insurance system.

Democratic criticism muted

Reaction from Democrats on the party’s left flank to the Biden budget was muted, but members plainly noticed the absence of key proposals.

Congresswomen Barbara Lee and Pramila Jayapal, two prominent progressives among House Democrats, published an essay in Newsweek the day after the budget release that pointedly called for some of the items missing from the Biden proposal.

“Alongside expanded social welfare programs and unemployment insurance, we're calling for a national, universal single-payer health care program that puts people before profits,” they wrote…….

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