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Senate Appropriations Sets Ambitious Schedule

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) and Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) released a calendar that puts the spending panel on track to finish all the fiscal 2019 bills by June 29. Both Shelby and Leahy  are aiming to bring each bill to the floor — for the first time in years — by promising amendment votes to allow for a robust floor debate.

The schedule is as follows:

Week of May 21-25: Energy-Water and Agriculture-FDA

Week of June 4-8: Transportation-HUD and Military Construction-VA

Week of June 11-15: Interior-Environment, Commerce-Justice-Science and Legislative Branch

Week of June 18-22: State-Foreign Operations, Homeland Security and Financial Services.

Week of June 25-29: Defense and Labor-HHS-Education

The House Appropriations Committee has already begun consideration and mark up of the House version of these measures.

White House Releases “Rescission” Package

As expected, the White House Office of Management and Budget released its package of proposed rescissions earlier today.  The list of programs targeted for cuts is available  here.  The package includes 38 items, totaling approximately $15 billion in cuts.

The biggest portion of the package, roughly $7 billion, would come from the Children Health Insurance Program and more than $4 billion would come come from the Department of Energy Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing program.

Administration “Rescission” Package Expected This Week

The Trump Administration is expected to send to Congress a “rescission” package this week that would seek about $15 billion in cuts to already approved spending in prior years.

Unhappy about the size of the recently passed FY2018 omnibus spending bill, a group of House conservatives had asked the Administration to take steps to cancel or “rescind” parts of the spending package.  While there is some receptivity to the proposal in the House, it is a non-starter in the Senate, in which Senators of both parties would oppose such a move.

In an attempt to placate the conservatives, the Administration is expected to send to Congress this week a package of proposed cuts from prior years, totaling approximately $15 billion.  In order for the cuts to be adopted, Congress must agreed to them in 45 days.  Although the exact contents of the package are currently unknown, it is believed that none of the programs funded by the omnibus bill would be affected.

Regardless of how Congress officially reacts to the the Administration proposal, the funds for the programs listed for rescission by the Administration would be “impounded,” or frozen, for 45 days.

The Office of Federal Relations will provide updates throughout this process.