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Updated by drosen on May 24, 2018
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Clean Budget News & Resources FY 2019

This resource bank contains FY 2019 budget cycle news articles, op-eds, editorials, blogs, letters to the editor, press releases, fact sheets, sign-on letters and other resources related to rescissions and riders. Please use the controls below to search, sort, filter and share.

Congress Gets Into Delta Water Debate

Some Delta groups and local lawmakers are decrying language in a U.S. House of Representatives spending bill that would make the California WaterFix immune from judicial review. The Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies subcommittee of the House Committee on Appropriations added a rider to its funding requests for the 2018-19 fiscal year specifically regarding the long-debated plan to pump water from the Delta to customers in the Bay Area and Southern California.

Budget Process Threatened on Two Fronts

Right now, the annual federal budgeting process faces threats on two fronts, both of which could sabotage Congress’ ability to reach spending deals that keep our government open and functioning. Appropriations subcommittees in the House of Representatives have begun marking up spending bills for fiscal year 2019 and moving them out of committee. One perennial threat to the budget process is that appropriators may try to add dozens of partisan poison pill riders — special favors for big corporations and ideological extremists that have nothing to do with funding our government — into these spending bills. It’s bad enough that Congress has to contend with poison pill riders that could sabotage the next spending agreement, but Congress also is facing a threat from the White House that would unravel previous ones. White House Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney recently proposed a set of rescissions on behalf of President Trump. These rollbacks of already allocated funding for key programs and policies would take back up to $15 billion from previously approved spending arrangements, almost half of which comes out of rainy day funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

Trump in Talks to Cancel Some Budget Cutbacks

The Trump administration is eyeing tweaks to its massive spending cuts proposal as it looks to court votes from skeptical Republicans on Capitol Hill, according to multiple GOP aides close to the legislation. The White House is already in talks about canceling cutbacks for a wastewater treatment program at the EPA, according to two Republicans familiar with the discussions. The administration might also scale back cuts for Ebola funding and disaster relief, the aides said.

A Washington Bomb Set to Go Off in California's Delta Tunnels Water War

Rep. Ken Calvert (R-Corona) inserted a rider into an Interior Department appropriations bill that would exempt from all judicial review the intensely contested Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta twin tunnels project. Passage of the rider — it's scheduled for a House committee vote Tuesday — would mean that the water diversion scheme wouldn't have to follow federal or state law. The project, known formally as California WaterFix, would bury two 35-mile-long, 40-foot-diameter tunnels beneath the delta. Its backers say its capital costs would amount to $17 billion, but credible estimates including financing start at nearly triple that amount, and its impact on Delta farmers and fish including endangered salmon would almost certainly be severe. If passed by the House (likely) and Senate (possible) and signed by President Trump (probable), the rider would open a gaping hole in California and federal law. It would render invalid about 20 active lawsuits that have already been filed against various aspects of the project, and that comprise some of the last major barriers to tunnel construction. More important, even though the project is California's, the product of decades of studies, plans, battles and ongoing arguments about the state's water needs, the rider constitutes a federal end run around those deliberations and California's rigorous environmental laws.

Republican Proposal Would Rescind Funds That Make Public Housing Safe for Residents

A rescission bill from House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy would cut $38.8 million from the public housing capital fund, which helps more than 2 million seniors, people with disabilities, children, and other vulnerable people live in decent, safe, and sanitary housing. These funds also give public housing residents access to job training programs, which help raise their earnings. This rescission would reverse bipartisan congressional action in the 2018 government funding bill that wisely invested more than $800 million in new funding for these purposes, recognizing the program's substantial unmet needs.

Trump's Plan to Claw Back Spending Hits Wall in Congress

President Trump’s plan to claw back more than $15 billion in spending is on life support on Capitol Hill. GOP leaders insist they are open to Trump’s proposal, which comes after Republicans faced a backlash for passing a mammoth, $1.3 trillion spending omnibus that shredded federal budget caps. But despite the GOP’s broad desire to cut spending, it appears increasingly unlikely that the legislation will reach Trump’s desk, with Republicans in both chambers expressing opposition.

Energy, Conservation Angst Dogs Rescission Push

A White House push to cut more than $15 billion in unspent federal funding is losing momentum on Capitol Hill, with Senate and House Republicans citing concerns over proposed cuts to energy, land conservation and water programs.

Clean Budget Coalition Opposes Inappropriate Riders and Rescissions

As a part of the Clean Budget Coalition, we, the undersigned organizations write to ask you to oppose any FY 2019 appropriations measures which include ideological poison pill policy riders. This year, in addition to threatening the budget process with harmful riders, the White House proposed rescissions that would claw back funds already appropriated in past spending packages — reneging on bipartisan agreements, where the latest took more than 15 months to pass. Like poison pill riders, rescissions cater to ideological extremists, represent a breach of regular order and threaten Congress’ ability to reach bipartisan spending agreements.

House Lawmakers Vote to Give Modest Budget Cuts to EPA, Interior

Environmental and wildlife conservationists opposed the bill due to a number of riders that would strip protections for species and the environment, including one that would take away federal protections on wolves in Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin, and strip Endangered Species Act protections for wolves in Wyoming. Another aims to repeal EPA’s Clean Water Rule.

Safety Advocates Urge Lawmakers to Steer Clear of Larger Trucks in Appropriations Bill

A coalition of safety advocates on Tuesday pressed Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.), the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee’s subcommittee on transportation, housing and urban development, and Rep. David Price (D-N.C.), the panel’s ranking member, to avoid any riders on an upcoming appropriations bill that would increase the length of twin tractor-trailers to 33 feet. The letter features more than 50 signatories, including truck drivers, members of law enforcement and trade associations. Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, the Coalition Against Bigger Trucks and the Consumer Federation of America are among the groups who signed the document.

LCV Statement on House Committee Passage of Energy & Water FY19 Appropriations Bill

Members of the House Appropriations Committee today had the opportunity to show they will stand up for clean water for all our communities – but instead, a majority proved they only care about profits for big polluters. By pushing a rider to repeal the Clean Water Rule, harmful cuts to clean energy programs, and other dangerous riders, Republicans on the committee demonstrated that they will vote to expose our families to unsafe drinking water and undermine our environmental protections every single time.

American Lung Association Decries Action by House of Representatives Appropriations Committee to Undermine FDA's Toba...

The American Lung Association is deeply disappointed that the House Appropriations Committee voted today in favor of an amendment that would substantially rewrite the Tobacco Control Act and weaken FDA"s ability to protect the health of the public and our nation"s youth from tobacco products. This rider was added to this bill at the behest of the tobacco industry and comes at a time when e-cigarettes are the most commonly used tobacco product among kids.

Trump's Budget Axe Takes Another Swing at Farmers and Rural Communities

After signing a March spending bill that the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projects will raise the deficit to over $1 trillion in just two years (the CBO projects the debt will rise to $33 trillion by 2028), the Trump administration decided to take another swing at slashing programs through a rarely used budget rescission measure. The rescission measure attempts to renege on spending commitments that have already been appropriated for various federal agencies.

CBO: Rescissions Would Only Save $1B in Spending

The Trump administration's proposal to reduce spending by clawing back budget authority over $15.4 billion in funding would only reduce actual spending by $1 billion, according to an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). Because most of the funds in question were not expected to be spent anyway, passing the rescissions package would only reduce federal spending by $1 billion over a decade, the CBO analysis, released Friday, found.

Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer Call Out Trump on Spending Cuts

Earlier this week, the Trump administration had requested a package of $15 billion in spending cuts from Congress. This including $7 billion from the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), an initiative championed by Democrats. The proposed cut to the CHIP drew a rebuke from U.S. Senate Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi.

Using Sick Children to Cut the Deficit

Earlier this year, after families worried that CHIP funding would expire due to a political stalemate, Congress finally agreed to restore and extend funding. The restoration and extension received bipartisan support, which the program has enjoyed since its creation in 1997 — when Democrat Bill Clinton was president and Republicans controlled the House of Representatives and Senate. But the 2018 legislation provided little room for comfort. Funding to states was to remain stagnant for two years and then be reduced by 11.5 percent. The administration’s proposed reductions would compound the challenges. They deserve to be rejected. Seriously.

Proposed Cut Has Child Health Advocates Worried

Connecticut Democratic lawmakers and children’s health advocates are nervous that despite reassurances, Republicans again are targeting the Children’s Health Insurance Program — CHIP — which insures nearly 18,000 children in the state. Connecticut’s all-Democratic congressional delegation is not so sure the juggling will leave CHIP unscathed. And they see sleight-of-hand in Republican concern about the deficit after boosting it through tax cuts.

Pelosi Slams Trump Move to Claw Back Ebola Funds Amid Congo Outbreak

The White House on Tuesday requested that Congress rescind $252 million of the $470 million in funds left in an account created to respond to the 2014-2015 outbreak of the deadly virus. The request was included in a broader rescissions package that sought to claw back some $15.4 billion in unobligated funds sitting in old accounts. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Friday slammed a White House request to cut funds from an old account for responding to Ebola after a new deadly outbreak of the disease in Congo.

Rescission Package Threatening the Health of Children

By threatening to gut the contingency fund in the middle of the year, the federal government would, once again, put the health of children at risk. Without that backstop, states may restrict coverage to ensure that they do not face shortfalls. Therefore, it could have harmful consequences that actually can be anticipated.

Some GOP Appropriators Resist Trump Cutbacks

Several GOP spending chiefs have cast doubt on President Donald Trump’s proposed list of $15.4 billion in cutbacks, saying they’re not yet ready to bury some of the targeted programs. Appropriators are a fiercely independent breed on Capitol Hill, faced with a declining share of influence in the recent stop-and-go funding cycle. Now, they’ve been handed the largest-ever presidential rescissions request without a chance to vet it through their committees.

McCarthy, Hoyer Spar Over White House's $15 Billion Clawback Request

Hoyer blasted the clawback package for targeting a contingency fund for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) while leaving defense discretionary spending intact. He argued that the funding is necessary in the event that enrollment is higher than anticipated.

On behalf of 511 national, state, and local organizations dedicated to promoting the health of our nation’s children and pregnant women, we write to voice our strong opposition to the White House’s proposal to rescind $7 billion dollars of funding from the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). This proposal violates the bipartisan budget agreement that Congress and the President reached earlier this year to set funding levels for fiscal years 2018 and 2019 and would put children’s access to health insurance coverage in jeopardy. We urge you to reject the proposal and any attempt to reduce government spending on the backs of children’s health.

More Than 500 Groups Come Out Against Trump's Proposed CHIP Funding Cuts

Hundreds of healthcare groups are fiercely pushing back against President Donald Trump's proposed cuts to previously approved spending, including a massive chunk that funds health coverage for children. In a letter (PDF) to Congress, 511 national, state and local groups—including many with ties to the healthcare industry—voiced their opposition to the White House's proposed rescissions package, which includes $7 billion in cuts to the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)

Trump’s Rescission Request: The Obscure Way Trump Wants to Cut Government Spending, Explained

President Donald Trump begrudgingly signed a $1.3 trillion funding package to keep the government open through September earlier this year, saying he would “never sign another bill like this again.” Now, he’s set to use an obscure law to call on Congress to cut $15 billion from old spending accounts, senior administration officials confirmed.

Is Trump's Cut to Sandy Aid Latest Example of New Jersey Under Attack in DC?

Funding for Amtrak's Gateway project, which includes a new tunnel under the Hudson River, was not touched in the $15 billion package of budget "rescission" requests that President Trump's administration sent to Congress this week. But Trump did propose rescinding $107 million in Superstorm Sandy aid, and the cut has added fuel to a fire burning in the New Jersey delegation that sees the state as under attack from Washington.