Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Shouldn't President Trump, GOP Consider Rarely Used Impoundment Act to Rescind Some of the Omnibus Spending

Image result for trumps address 115th congressIt so happens that after Congress/Senate passed the Omnibus Bill (H.R. 1625), and the President signed it, the President can ask Congress to rescind specific spending items.
Congress can approve the rescission request with a simple majority vote of each chamber. No BS or Filibusters allowed. No cloture votes of 60 senators needed. This is authorized under the Impoundment Act of 1974. It’s rarely been used, and in its entire history Congress has only rescinded a meager $25 billion using it. But that could change:
Impoundment [edit]
Title X of the Act, also known as the Impoundment Control Act of 1974, specifies that the President may request that Congress rescind appropriated funds. If both the Senate and the House of Representatives have not approved a rescission proposal (by passing legislation) within 45 days of continuous session, any funds being withheld must be made available for obligation. Congress is not required to vote on the request, and has ignored most Presidential requests.[4] In response, some have called for a line item veto to strengthen the rescission power and force Congress to vote on the disputed funds.
The Act was passed in response to feelings in Congress that President Nixon was abusing his power of impoundment by withholding funding of programs he opposed. The Act, especially after Train v. City of New York (1975), effectively removed the presidential power of impoundment.
The 1974 Impoundment Act, which allows the president to order the rescission of specific funds, so long as Congress approves those cuts within 45 days. The act hasn’t seen a lot of use in recent decades. Barack Obama never used it he liked spending too much. George W. Bush never sent any formal rescission proposals to Congress—he took the position that presidents ought to have a fuller line-item veto power. Ronald Reagan used rescission where he could and holds the title for most proposals.
Check out what Republicans can do with control of the White House and both chambers gives them an unusual opportunity to show they are in the majority and cut big. Under the Impoundment Act, a simple majority is enough to approve presidential rescissions—no filibuster. It’s their chance to take a saber to the billions which exceeded the 2011 domestic-spending caps—

Cut everything from Border security for Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, and Tunisia, Funds Illegal Alien Resettlement, Tax Credits for Illegal Aliens, Planned Parenthood,$1m for the Cultural Antiquities Task Force,$6.25m for the Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation,$20m for Countering Foreign State Propaganda,$12m for Countering State Disinformation and Pressure, $1.371bn for Contributions to International Organizations, $51m to promote International Family Planning and Reproductive Health, $7m promoting International Conservation,$10m for UN Environmental Programs,$1m for the World Meteorological Organization, $218m for Promoting Democracy Development in Europe, $25m for International Religious Freedom, $10m for disadvantaged Egyptian Students,  $12m for Scholarships for Lebanon, $20m for Middle East Partnership Initiative Scholarship Program,$12m in military funding for Vietnam $3.5m in nutrition assistance to Laos$15m in Developmental assistance to China,$10m for Women LEOs in Afghanistan,$9 billion for Government Services Admin that oversees federal properties Fed government spends $1.7   billion a year to maintain 770,000 empty buildings while continuing to buy new properties. Sanctuary Cities, Mideast Immigration Programs, Omnibus Funds Illegal Alien Resettlement, from carbon-capture technology to pecan producers to the Gateway Tunnel Project to the Environmental Protection Agency.
It would best serve the Republicans for House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to request Mr. Trump go the impoundment route, however that’s not likely to happen since both to everything they can subvert or stall his agenda. The other option would be for the White House and congressional leaders to make a joint announcement.