The 2022 budget submitted by the White House Office of Budget and Management promises improvements for the U.S. territories, including Puerto Rico.
President’s Budget Message
The document begins with the President’s Budget Message, which Mr. Biden presented to Congress earlier this month.
“Where we choose to invest speaks to what we value as a Nation,” the message commences. “Our prosperity comes from the people who get up every day, work hard, raise their family, pay their taxes, serve their Nation, and volunteer in their communities. If we make that understanding our foundation, everything we build upon it will be strong.”
The document goes on to analyze the pandemic crisis and its effect on the U.S. economy and the American people in greater detail. This section includes this statement:
“The President also supports eliminating Medicaid funding caps for Puerto Rico and other Territories while aligning their matching rate with States (and moving toward parity for other critical Federal programs including Supplemental Security Income and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program).”
The document also specifically mentions the territories twice in its discussion of the additional funds planned for the Centers for Disease Control, affirming that the new finding is intended to benefit the territories as well as the States.
Many of the elements of the budget will benefit Puerto Rico. Changes in the Child Tax Credit, which was extended in Puerto Rico, will become permanent. Community grants, universal early childhood education, and similar programs will be available to Puerto Rico as well as to the States.
Puerto Rico would also be eligible for reshoring tax credits which are planned to replace the current tax benefits companies gain from offshoring manufacturing. Bringing manufacturing back to the United States (including Puerto Rico) will be rewarded under the new budget. This could increase industrial investment in Puerto Rico.
The House Appropriations Committee is expected to begin markup of the White House budget this month. The Senate and the House will create their own proposals and then negotiate their final package to be sent back to the White House for presidential signature.