Capitol Correspondence - 05.14.18

Some Members of Congress Express Concern over U.S. House’s Rescission Proposal

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As ANCOR has been following closely, the White House submitted to Congress last week it’s recission package requesting a pullback of $15.4 billion worth of funds that were including in the FY18 spending bill. Rescission is a process that has been used by multiple Presidents, but not since President Clinton.  According to the White House, the package submitted to Congress deletes unused or underused funding from the national budget. Rescission packages must pass by simple majority in the House and Senate in order to become law, and although the House seems interested in moving the proposal forward, the Senate seems less willing to take it on.

According to Politico:

“House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy unveiled the chamber’s batch of spending cuts Wednesday. Similar to the White House’s request, the package makes cuts to Energy Department loan guarantee programs for clean energy and vehicle technologies. The bill is expected to go directly to the House floor for a vote, Pro’s Sarah Ferris reports. Senate GOP leaders have said they will consider the bill if and when it passes the House.”

The separate Politico Pro article cited above reveals that “[t]he House GOP bill contains $10.45 billion in specific cuts, including roughly $7 billion to the Children’s Health Insurance Program [CHIP].” This stands in contrast to the $15.4 billion dollars in cuts in the White House’s proposal, although the White House proposal would also cut CHIP by $7 billion by targeting funds which have not yet been used. As far as ANCOR is aware, the cuts to CHIP and to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) are the most significant cuts to Medicaid or other programs on which our members rely.

The bill faces opposition from Democratic members of Congress and influential Republicans alike. These include Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL), who chairs the committee that would oversee the bill in the Senate, and Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), who was one of three critical votes against proposals to reform the Affordable Care Act (ACA, aka “Obamacare”) and Medicaid.

At this time, the likelihood of this bill becoming law remains low due to the lack of political appetite in the Senate, but ANCOR will keep members apprised of any developments on this bill, especially if your advocacy efforts become necessary.