Trump sending spending cuts of up to $15B to Congress

Irving Hamilton
May 10, 2018

"It looks like most of it is stuff. that I don't know why a Democrat would want to leave money in the CHIP program that we can not spend, because the authorization's run out". "By utilizing a tool deployed by every President from Ford to Clinton, today's historic $15.4 billion rescissions package is an obvious step toward reducing unnecessary spending and protecting the American taxpayer".

"This is money that hasn't been spent from Hurricane Sandy specifically because the local project sponsors could not pay their local share to get their money out the door; it's not going to be spent", the official said.

If approved, the tactic would only have a tiny impact on the government's budget deficit, which is on track to total more than $800 billion this year.

White House Office of Management and Budget Deputy Director Russ Vought penned an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal announcing the Trump administration's rescission package that is structured to cut $15.4 billion in spending this fiscal year.

The package goes after spending "that is no longer necessary, has been diverted from its original intent, or has sat unused for years" like the Energy Department's Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing loan program that hasn't made a loan since 2011.

"It appears that sabotaging our health care system to the detriment of middle-class families wasn't enough for President Trump and Republicans; now they're going after health care dollars that millions of children rely on, especially during outbreaks of the flu and other deadly illnesses", Schumer said in a statement.

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The White House and Tea Party lawmakers upset by the budget-busting "omnibus" bill have rallied around the plan, aiming to show that Republicans are taking on out-of-control spending.

Democrats in the House and Senate were withholding judgment on Trump's scaled-back cuts, pending more details. But Democrats see the proposal as a clear swipe at the Children's Health Insurance Program and are likely to point out that Republicans are trying to balance the budget ― at least to again give the impression that they're trying to balance the budget while the deficit increases ― on the backs of children. The administration says it will propose cuts to the omnibus measure later in the year.

The proposal has already had a tortured path even before its unveiling.

House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows, R-N.C., said, "I would support it completely", adding, "this will put pressure on the Senate to address it". They argued that it would be breaking a bipartisan budget pact just weeks after it was negotiated.

Congress will have 45 days to vote on the White House plan with a majority vote needed to pass. Lawmakers also have the option of paring down the cuts.

Either way, the measure would face a challenging path in Congress, particularly the Senate. But the cuts to the popular children's health insurance program probably could still be filibustered because they are so-called mandatory programs rather than annual appropriations.

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