After signing the last $1.3 trill budget deal, President Trump said he would not be signing such a large measure again. He later added that he would like Congress to help offset the cost by reducing federal spending when they can.
Trump is leading the way by proposing $15 billion in spending cuts by utilizing a 1974 law. The law, as USA Today reports, gives the president authority to offer spending cuts to Congress in the form of “rescissions.” The process is usually expedited as it skips normal committee processes.
USA Today reports that none of the “money in the proposal comes from the recent spending deal, but they did not rule out that future rescission packages may draw from that legislation.”
Per the Hill:
The White House is set to ask Congress to revoke $15 billion in spending, starting a 45-day clock for Congress to act.
The formal request in spending, higher than the $11 billion that had been expected, is likely to come on Tuesday. It is the largest individual rescission request since the passage of the 1974 budget act, said a senior administration official.
Nearly half of the $15 billion — $7 billion — will come from two accounts in the Child Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The White House sees the cuts as uncontroversial because the money represents unspent funds from expired programs, such as a fund to reimburse some state expenses in fiscal 2017.
The spending cuts were previously announced by Trump’s senior economic adviser Rudy Giuliani, as Reuters reports:
The proposal comes as the White House and conservative Republicans in the U.S. Congress were edging away from a threat to pick a new budget fight with Democrats after Republicans initially floated some $60 billion in cuts a few weeks ago.
Senior administration officials said the initial package of proposed cuts was targeted at federal funds that were sitting unspent. It would not affect a two-year budget deal agreed in February.
More “rescission” packages, including a “large” one that would address cuts Trump wants from that deal, would be forthcoming, one senior administration official said.
Here’s more, per USA Today:
Describing the package as the single-largest rescission proposal in U.S. history, a White House official said Monday that more than 30 programs would be cut overall if Congress approves the measure. The cuts also include a $4 billion reduction in a loan program intended to improve vehicle technology that officials said has not been used since 2011.
The official said the proposal recommends clawing back $107 million from a “technical assistance” fund in the Hurricane Sandy recovery package approved by Congress in 2013, more than $250 million in unspent money from the Ebola virus outbreak as well as unspent funds for Medicare and Medicaid pilot programs in the Affordable Care Act.
“We’ll look at it and see,” said Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “If it’s frivolous stuff that we can get rid of and save the taxpayer money, we ought to do it.”
Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., said he would support “pretty much any rescission that comes up to save the taxpayers money.”
Democrat lawmakers are speaking out against the bill and are arguing that it would hurt the programs which are losing funds:
“These Republican rescissions show the hypocrisy of a GOP Congress that insists on tight budgets for children and families while handing enormous, unpaid-for giveaways to corporations and the wealthiest,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said in a statement.
Rep. Frank Pallone said the administration was trying to renege on a deal to have parity between domestic and military spending increases by seeking cuts only on the domestic side of the budget.
“I mean, we’re going to build more bombs but now we’re going to cut health care for kids,” said Pallone, D-N.J. “That says a lot about Republican values.”
The proposal comes weeks after members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus balked at a $1.3 trillion government funding bill Trump signed in March. The president also criticized the bill, which he said he decided to sign because of spending increases for the military.