The White House plans to reduce the size of the $1.3 trillion spending bill President Donald Trump signed into law in March using an obscure part a 1974 budget law.
The White House will send a “rescission” request to Congress when members return from spring recess next week, according to The Washington Post.
“The administration is certainly looking at a rescission package, and the president takes seriously his promise to be fiscally responsible,” White House legislative director Marc Short told The Post.
Congress would have to approve the request to reduce funding levels, a tough prospect given the slight majority Republicans hold in the Senate and Democratic opposition in the House.
The 1974 Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act that created the modern appropriations process also allows the president to request specific cuts to the budget once it is signed into law, which Congress would have 45 days to consider.
North Carolina Republican Rep. Mark Meadows, chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, said he was “very supportive and extremely pleased with the leadership’s willingness to engage on the issue. Leader [Kevin] McCarthy heard from constituents and worked quickly to address the issue in a meaningful way.”
Trump railed against the spending bill’s high expenditures on federal programs during his signing ceremony, calling it “ridiculous” and vowing to “never sign another bill like this again.”
The bill, the second highest single combined appropriations bill ever passed, in many ways goes beyond former President Barack Obama’s goals for the size of the government, Meadows said.
After threatening to veto the bill outright the day before the federal government would shutdown, Trump agreed to approve the spending bill as a national security measure. The spending bill increased defense spending, but also increased most domestic programs counter to the president’s own budget goals.
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