Government affairs

Legislative Updates

House passes White House “rescissions” cuts

Today, the House of Representatives passed a $15 billion rescission package titled, “Spending Cuts to Expired and Unnecessary Programs Act” (H.R. 3) in a narrow 210-206 vote.

The rescissions package stems from an April White House request from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) that initially asked for Congress to return as much as $60 billion in cuts from already appropriated fiscal year 2018 funds.

Despite revisions, a chief concern among Republican moderates was the $7 billion rescission to the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which remains in the package. Despite that, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) stated those funds would not be spent and would not eliminate health insurance for eligible children. What lawmakers intend to do with the $7 billion allocated specifically for children’s health after the funds are rescinded remains unclear.

Under the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Act of 1974, the president may rescind appropriated funds temporarily, but to do so permanently would require full congressional approval. With the measure passed in one chamber, it now proceeds to the Senate, where an equally narrow vote either way can be expected.

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