Trump Administration to Propose Rescissions Package that Would Cut Essential Funding

The Trump administration is expected to submit a proposal as soon as May 8, to rescind $15 billion from old spending accounts. Unlike previous plans to cut funding, this request will not rescind funding from the bipartisan FY18 budget agreement reached in February (see Memo 4/16). This request is expected to include funding from old accounts that was approved but has not been obligated or spent, including HUD funding. This package is likely the first round of rescissions, with more to come later this year.

Once the Trump administration formally submits its rescission proposal, Congress has 45 days to consider it during which the spending in question is frozen, meaning it cannot be spent. For many federal programs, including HUD’s, Congress gives the agency multiple years to obligate its funds since some projects and activities are long-term in nature. Multi-year spending authority allows agencies the opportunity to manage the funds more effectively by obligating them over time, as they are needed. Taking away money from prior-year funding would force agencies to cut back on previously planned activities just as much as taking away money from current-year funding.

While such a package may pass the House, it is less likely to pass in the Senate, where members of both parties have expressed opposition to rescinding funding that policymakers have previously enacted.