Trump Adminstration Submits Rescission Package to Congress2018-05-15T14:00:22-04:00

The Trump administration has submitted to Congress last Thursday a $15.4 billion rescissions package.  The rescission package does not directly impact the FY2018 Omnibus nor does it take any funds from NIH.  Nearly half of the cuts, or $7 billion, would come from unspent Children’s Health Insurance Program funds, and almost $5 billion would be cut from dormant Energy Department loan programs, in addition to other programs listed.

It is not clear yet whether there is any potential indirect impact on FY2019 appropriations efforts re subcommittee allocations.  This is important to note as Congress understood that these “unallocated or dormant” funds would be available to them in the appropriations process when it set overall funding levels in the 2017 budget deal for FY2018 and FY2019.  Congress was already, in essence, including responsible rescissions of CHIP funds and the “changes in mandatory programs savings” (CHIMPS) to make room in the bill for more adequate funding levels for public health and health research.  To take them back now is a backdoor way of reneging on the deal and would reduce nondefense discretionary funding BELOW what members of Congress agreed to in the two year budget deal, particularly for the Labor-HHS bill, where NIH receives its funds. 

Under the 1974 Impoundment Control Act (ICA) budget law, Congress will have 45 calendar days “of continuous session” (includes weekends and holidays, but not days where Congress recesses for more than 3 days) to consider the rescission package.  If the relevant committees have not acted within 25 days, a member of either chamber supporting the rescissions measure may seek to discharge the package from committee with the support of at least one-fifth of the chamber in question.  It is expected that the House will pass the package. It is far less certain what will happen in the Senate.  The Senate parliamentarian is likely looking into the requirement for a 60-vote threshold. 

For more information on rescissions here are two helpful summaries from NDD United,  CRFB.

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