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Washington, DC- Yesterday, Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) introduced the Spending Cuts to Expired and Unnecessary Programs Act, S.2979, to rescind $15 billion in unobligated balances requested earlier this month by President Trump. Sen. Lee introduced the bill with eight cosponsors, including Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), to follow through on the request of the White House, which Senate leadership has refused to do.
FreedomWorks President Adam Brandon commented:
“This year’s budget deal was an utter fiscal disaster, busting spending caps by nearly $300 billion over two years. The subsequent omnibus that appropriated at these high levels was devised in secrecy and rammed through Congress. Thankfully, the White House and constitution-minded senators like Mike Lee are keen on fixing our out of control spending.”
“This rescissions package does even not touch appropriations from this year’s omnibus, instead rescinding funds that are sitting in accounts unable to be spent that are only used for gimmick offsets to allow even higher spending. Its uncontroversial nature should allow for easy passage through both chambers of Congress. Passing this package is essential to laying the groundwork for later rescissions from the omnibus, which the White House has repeatedly said it intends to do this year.”
“That none of Senate leadership has co-sponsored Sen. Mike Lee’s rescissions bill speaks volumes. Clearly, Senate rank and file are the ones concerned with reckless spending. If Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is not going to take up the White House’s proposal to impound unobligated funds, it is good to that know we have Sens. Lee, Paul, and others to stick up for American taxpayers.”
The Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974 allows the president to request that Congress rescind previously appropriated funds. All presidents from 1974 until 2000 utilized the rescissions tool. The White House is right to revive this tool after nearly 18 years. Passing Sen. Lee’s bill will build the legislative muscle memory necessary to bring back rescissions as a commonly-used tool of fiscal responsibility.