Trump is attempting to use an obscure tactic to cut $15 billion from programs — including children's health insurance
- President Donald Trump will introduce a rescission package to cut $15 billion in already approved spending from the federal budget.
- The cuts would come from the Children's Health Insurance Program, Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation program, and Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing loan program.
- The rescission package must be approved by a simple majority in Congress, but passage is not guaranteed.
President Donald Trump on Tuesday will unveil a plan to reverse roughly $15 billion in already approved spending, with possible cuts to children's healthcare and other programs.
The cuts would come as part of a so-called rescission package, which allows the president to send a bill to Congress to strip spending from the omnibus spending bill that passed in March.
Administration officials said the package would cut around $7 billion from the Children's Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, which was previously authorized but unused. They also said it would cut about $800 million from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation program created by the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.
Outside of healthcare, the Department of Energy's Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing loan program, which helps support the development of fuel-efficient cars, would see $4.3 billion clawed back. Another 30 programs would also face various cuts as part of the package.
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The package after Trump expressed discontent with the massive omnibus package, which will significantly increase the federal budget deficit. Republican also have bemoaned the recent uptick in the projected deficit, even though most of the projected increase comes from the omnibus and GOP tax law.
It is unclear whether or not the rescission package would pass.
Originally, the Trump administration wanted to send a much larger rescission package to Congress but softened the package amid pushback from party leadership. Conservative GOP House members said Monday that the White House promised that Tuesday's rescission package would be the first of many.
Democrats blasted the proposal. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer criticized the focus on the CHIP program, which helps provide coverage for 9 million low-income children.
"Let’s be honest about what this is: President Trump and Republicans in Congress are looking to tear apart the bipartisan Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), hurting middle-class families and low-income children, to appease the most conservative special interests and feel better about blowing up the deficit to give the wealthiest few and biggest corporations huge tax breaks," Schumer said in a statement.
The package is expected to pass the House, but moderate Senate Republicans may balk at the healthcare cuts. GOP Sen. Susan Collins — one of the Republican members that blocked the GOP Obamacare repeal efforts — expressed hesitation.
"I would have to have an awfully good reason given to me, and maybe there is one," Collins told reporters Monday. "I don’t know why there would be funds left in the SCHIP account, but that’s a program that I was an original co-sponsor of with Senators Hatch and Kennedy years ago and it matters a lot to me."
Republicans hold a slim, one-seat majority in the Senate, meaning Republicans would need to hold the support of all their members or flip a Democrat.
According to the Bipartisan Policy Center, the House and Senate Appropriations committees have 25 days to approve or block the package, and Congress has 45 days overall to approve the measure. The rescission package can pass on a simple majority vote.
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