Federal Spending Rescission

Worried that their spending spree in the recent omnibus bill will suppress conservative turnout at the polls this November, Republicans are now considering a “rescission” package. The package of spending cuts—being designed by the White House—could be passed in Congress with simple majorities in both chambers.

The omnibus increased discretionary spending 13 percent in a single year, with large increases in both defense and domestic (nondefense) spending. The bill passed with majorities of Republicans in both House and Senate, and was signed by President Trump.

Some conservative commentators have suggested that Trump and the GOP did not want to increase domestic spending that much, but were pushed into it by the Democrats. Putting a spending rescission package—with cuts to low-value domestic programs—up for a vote would be a nice test of that theory, as it would not need Democratic votes for passage.

Trump proposed many cuts in his 2018 and 2019 federal budgets. Here are some that would be good candidates to include in a rescission package:

  • Ending the Community Development Block Grant.
  • Ending the Economic Development Administration.
  • Ending Essential Air Service subsidies.
  • Ending the USDA’s rural subsidies.
  • Ending various energy industry subsidies.
  • Ending the Low Income Energy Assistance Program.
  • Ending the Community Services Block Grant.
  • Ending the Weatherization Assistance Program.
  • Ending funding for the NEA, NEH, and CPB.
  • Cutting housing rental subsidies.
  • Cutting job-training subsidies.
  • Cutting farm subsidies.
  • Cutting foreign aid subsidies.
  • Cutting federal retirement benefits.

You can read about the merits of most of these cuts at DownsizingGovernment.org.