President Trump is sending a plan to Congress that calls for stripping more than $15 billion in previously approved spending, with the hope that it will temper conservative angst over ballooning budget deficits.
Almost half of the proposed cuts would come from two accounts within the #Children’s Health Insurance Program (#CHIP) that #White House officials said expired last year or are not expected to be drawn upon. An additional $800 million in cuts would come from money created by the Affordable Care Act in 2010 to test innovative payment and service delivery models.
Those are just a handful of the more than 30 programs the White House is proposing to Congress for “rescission,” a process of culling back money that was previously authorized. Once the White House sends the request to Congress, lawmakers have 45 days to vote on the plan or a scaled-back version of it through a simple majority vote.
If approved by Congress, the reductions would represent less than 0.4 percent of total government spending this year.
Rep. Mark Walker (R-N.C.) said in an interview that conservatives were given assurances from the White House that this package would be the first of several, and he said lawmakers were anxious to get started on the cuts. “I hope it’s never painted that this is just symbolic or a political gesture,” Walker said. “We think it’s very legitimate.”
A senior administration official said Democrats should recognize that much of this package represents untapped accounts and that cutting the money would create savings without affecting operations.
Democrats have said they are watching the process with skepticism. Many Democrats have called for expanding programs such as CHIP, not cutting them, and they are often fiercely protective of anything related to the Affordable Care Act.