Earlier this week, Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney announced the details of what the administration says is the first in a series of rescissions packages. On Wednesday, the administration officially sent the package to Congress, starting the 45-day countdown to approve or deny the request. To take effect, the rescission package needs a simple majority vote to pass Congress and become law.
This package did not make cuts to funding in the approved fiscal year 2018 spending package, making it more appealing to the Senate. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) had expressed his lack of interest in a package that would cut funding from the fiscal year 2018 budget.
The proposed rescissions package makes cuts on unspent funds from previous years on several programs. The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and the Medicaid and Medicare Innovation Center are among those programs targeted to receive cuts that are of interest to the strategic action network, giving some lawmakers and advocates alarm.
Because half of the proposed $15 billion rescission package would come out of the CHIP, the Alliance voiced its opposition through a sign-on letter that was circulated by the American Academy of Pediatrics. The rescission package calls on Congress to break its bipartisan commitment to children and their parents by taking $7 billion from the CHIP program:
- $2 billion would come out of the Child Enrollment Contingency Fund, the “rainy day fund” used by states experiencing higher enrollment than projected (e.g., because of a natural disaster)
- $5 billion would come from Children's Health Insurance Fund
In addition, $800 million would come out of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation. McConnell opened the door, indicating that the Senate may consider taking up the measure if the U.S. House passes a bill, which U.S. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said they would.
The Alliance for Strong Families and Communities urges you to call your Congressional delegation asking them to oppose any rescission package that breaks existing, bipartisan Congressional commitments to children and families.
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