Administration Floats $15 Billion Rescission Package

Late yesterday (May 8), the Trump Administration released  a proposed $15.4 billion rescission package that would call back unspent Federal dollars to help with deficit reduction.  None of the proposed rescissions, however, come from the recently enacted FY 18 Omnibus Appropriations Act.

Most of the identified reductions do not affect the water community with the exception of $107 million in unused Superstorm Sandy technical assistance funding for watershed rehabilitation.  For state primacy agencies, no cuts would apply to PWSS or DWSRF funding.  EPA would see a $10 million reduction to past years’ funding from its Environmental Programs & Management Account.  According to the rescission request document, “The funds proposed for rescission are targeted for competitive water quality research and support grants, which are duplicative with other Federal programs. Enacting the rescission would reduce funding for water quality research and support grants.”

The majority of the funding cuts are expected to come from the Children’s Health Insurance Program (about $7 billion) and from the Affordable Care Act’s Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation program ($800 million).  Other significant identified rescission proposals include $252 million in reductions from the 2015 Ebola outbreak; $133 million for extended unemployment benefits for railroad workers; and $148 million from the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service for outbreaks that have already been resolved.  Additional funding reductions are likely to come from provisions in the 2009 stimulus package legislation.

Congress has 45 days to respond – either by accepting the request as proposed or modifying it.  There is no clear direction, as yet, on how the House and Senate are likely to respond.  As noted above, none of the proposed rescissions come from this year’s appropriations act.  However, the Administration has signaled that this package is the first in a series of rescission proposals and that, at some point, FY 18 funding may be affected.

You may click here to view the complete rescission request.