Biden to release 2024 budget on Thursday, could eclipse announcement on Willow Project


With the massive 2021 infrastructure bill now just a distant memory, and the $1.7 trillion federal spending package for 2023 just signed by the president 10 weeks ago, the Biden Administration will release the federal budget proposal for fiscal year 2024 on Thursday, a budget that will then be taken up by the Democrat-controlled Senate and the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, where the fight will start all over again.

This budget will propose raises for federal employees. Unions and Democrats are lobbying for an 8.7% increase. During Biden’s last two budgets he has pushed for an amount that would be more in line with federal law, which if he does the same this year, would indicate a 5.2% pay raise. Other incentives could be added, according to a framework in law.

Federal law requires Biden to submit his budget by the first Monday in February, and he is over a month behind in following that law. He’ll lay out some of the highlights of his spending plan during a scheduled speech in Philadelphia.

Most federal spending is set through program formulas, such as Social Security and Medicare. Only about one third of the budget is discretionary, the area where Congress has some control and where the contest takes place for “who gets what.”

Already, Alaska’s Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Rep. Mary Peltola have opened web portals for Alaskans to send in their earmark requests. The deadline for community project requests is March 17, at 11:59 pm. The link to Murkowski’s earmark request page is here. Peltola’s earmark portal is at this link.

Alaska’s senators, both Republicans, are in the minority in the Senate, and Alaska’s representative, a Democrat, is in the minority in the House, which may make it more difficult for Alaska to get those coveted earmarks. Just about one-third of the budget is discretionary spending, which Congress controls through the appropriations process.

Discretionary spending is split between military sending, which is about half of all discretionary spending, and nonmilitary spending, which is infrastructure, education, and other domestic and international programs.

Because the budget will dominate the news cycle on Thursday, that may also be the day when the Biden Administration announces its decision to approve or deny Alaska’s Willow Project Master Development Plan. An announcement on that day would mean the White House wants to bury the Willow story.

Sources in Washington, D.C. say the announcement on Willow could also come late on Friday, to avoid the news media, which are thinly staffed on the weekend. President Biden and his administration are being lobbied heavily from environmental groups to deny the development plan by ConocoPhillips for a tiny corner of the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska.


  1. Whatever it is, we’re already so deeply in debt we’re not getting out of it.

    Biden wanted to be historic. His legacy may well be the collapse of America as a functioning nation.

  2. No one seems to be sure but it’s possible that Willow could lose money for state government! Costs that Conoco can charge against oil pumped on state land could accumulate from Willow, which is not on state land. But despite what Congresswoman Peltola believes most Alaskans want, I would like to see the pipeline last well into the next decade, and Willow might actually be critical to that happening. So the equation for Willow is complicated. Willow could lose money for the state but save the pipeline. The North Slope Borough will gain in state petroleum property taxes from Willow to the tune of about $1 billion over the life of the field even if the state loses money. Not only is the situation quite complicated but since oil tax information specific to a company is confidential most Alaskans will never know what actually happens, and those state employees who will know will be prevented by law from telling anyone not authorized to know.

    I would guess that Secretary Haaland has already told Congresswoman Peltola of the decision. As the only two indigenous women in Washington I’m sure those ladies stick together.

    I voted against the oil tax ballot measures in 2014 and 2020, but that doesn’t stop me from being disappointed we have not seen production increases. Apparently there was no chance that if voters went with the industry in 2014 we would see something like 1 million ba/da, and we were misled. But state and municipal government is still much too large so I would not change my vote even if I could.

  3. These politicians could not balance a kool aid stand budget. They will use smoke mirrors and flat out lies to pass the budget with supposed cuts. We need to cut all discretionary spending and handouts to other country’s to zero. It does not take a lot of brain power to see where we are headed and our politicians are stealing and spending money we don’t have. It is stupid to borrow money to give to other governments for their loyalty to the US.


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