President Donald Trump begrudgingly signed a $1.3 trillion funding package to keep the government open through September earlier this year, saying he would “never sign another bill like this again.” Now, he’s set to use an obscure law to call on Congress to cut $15 billion from old spending accounts, senior administration officials confirmed.
The White House is set to request a rescission package this week, asking Congress to rescind funds previously allocated by Congress and signed into law — the first installment in what’s expected to become a larger Trump administration push to clamp down on big government spending. This time, however, Trump’s request won’t touch the recently passed $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill that the president was so irate over. Instead, it will slash spending from domestic programs that was appropriated years ago and hasn’t been spent yet. Ironically, it’s unlikely to have much of an impact on the deficit at all.
The package will include cuts to funding that has been dormant for several years, like $7 billion from the Children’s Health Insurance Program, $5 billion of which has expired and cannot be spent and $2 billion from a contingency fund the administration says will be unnecessary; $800 million from the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation program; $107 million from funding for Hurricane Sandy relief, that requires local communities to match the dollars; money allocated for the Ebola outbreak; and several grants. Administration officials said they find the package uncontroversial and expect it to pass the House. The prospects in the Senate are more uncertain, and the proposal has already been met with some criticism.
Once the request has been made, Congress will have 45 days to act on the president’s call before it expires. During that time, the funding is automatically frozen. If the package does get a vote, it will only require a simple majority to pass.