White House Rolls Out Plan To Knife Congressional Spending

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Robert Donachie Capitol Hill and Health Care Reporter
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The White House unveiled the plan Monday evening it will send to Congress, ordering lawmakers to claw back $15 billion in funds Congress previously appropriated.

President Donald Trump’s administration is targeting what are called “unobligated balances” — money Congress gave to an agency that, for one reason or another, the agency did not spend.

“One of the reasons why we are focusing on unobligated balances is all the money is pre-omnibus bill,” a senior administration official told reporters on a briefing call Monday evening. “We designed this package to go directly at the money that is just sitting in this account.”

Trump is looking to roll back funds in 38 different accounts, including:

  • $4.3 billion from the Advanced Technology Vehicle loan program.
  • $523 million for Title 17 innovative loan program.
  • $800 million recision for Obamacare fund for Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation.
  • $7 billion of funds directed to the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
    • “This is money that cannot be or won’t be spent under law,” an administration official told reporters.
  • $15 million for grants to companies to market their own products.
  • $107 million for technical assistance after Hurricane Sandy.
  • $252 million allocated for the 2015 EBOLA outbreak.
  • $133 million from the Railroad Unemployment Insurance program, which expired in 2012.
  • $148 million from Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

The administration plans, as The Daily Caller News Foundation previously reported, this week’s recision package to be the first in a series. Future recision packages will be aimed at the 2018 $1.3 trillion omnibus.

The president has expressed outrage about the deal Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan struck with Democratic leadership, characterizing it as a back door deal that illustrates Washington’s dysfunctional working environment.

“I will never sign another bill like this again. I’m not going to do it again. Nobody read it. It’s only hours old. Some people don’t even know what is in it. $1.3 trillion dollars — it is the second largest ever,” the president said on March 23 when he signed the Republicans’ spending bill.

The president even threatened to veto the bill only hours before he signed it into law, calling it a “waste of money.”

After the White House sends the proposal over to Congress, House and Senate lawmakers would have 45 days to consider the rescision package. If they disprove of the president’s proposal, the White House would then be forced to release the withheld funds to the federal agencies.

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