“While President Biden has prioritized spending trillions on liberal wish list priorities here at home, funding for America’s military is neglected,” ” a group of top Republicans, including Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the minority leader, said in a joint statement.
Progressives in the House made the opposite complaint: that Mr. Biden was spending too much on the military.
“A proposed increase of $13 billion in defense spending is far too much given its already rapid growth at a time of relative peace,” said Representative Mark Pocan, Democrat of Wisconsin. “We cannot best build back better if the Pentagon’s budget is larger than it was under Donald Trump.”
In a letter accompanying the proposal on Friday, Shalanda D. Young, who is serving as Mr. Biden’s acting budget director, told congressional leaders that the discretionary spending process would be an “important opportunity to continue laying a stronger foundation for the future and reversing a legacy of chronic disinvestment in crucial priorities.”
The administration is focusing on education spending in particular, seeing that as a way to help children escape poverty. Mr. Biden asked Congress to bolster funding to high-poverty schools by $20 billion, which it describes as the largest year-over-year increase to the Title I program since its inception under President Lyndon B. Johnson. The program provides funding for schools that have high numbers of students from low-income families, most often by providing remedial programs and support staff.
The request also seeks billions of dollars in increases to early-childhood education, to programs serving students with disabilities and to efforts to staff schools with nurses, counselors and mental health professionals — described as an attempt to help children recover from the pandemic, but also a longstanding priority for teachers’ unions.
Mr. Biden heralded the education funding in remarks to reporters at the White House. “The data shows that it puts a child from a household that is a lower income household in a position if they start school — not day care — but school at 3 and 4 years old, there’s overwhelming evidence that they will compete all the way through high school and beyond,” he said.