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President Trump's rescission proposal would cut CMMI, CHIP

Funds targeted were appropriated but never spent.

Susan Morse, Senior Editor

President Donald Trump is looking to cut $15.4 billion out of the $1.3 trillion federal spending bill approved in March, using a process called rescission.

Rescission withdraws spending authority for funds appropriated but not spent.

Appropriated funds to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, or CMMI, and the Children's Health Insurance Program would be cut.

The Department of Health and Human Services CHIP program is targeted to lose $7 billion and the proposal would rescind $800 million to the innovation center.

In both cases, the funds are in excess, according to the proposal posted by the Office of Management and Budget.

For CMMI, there was $3.5 billion available on Oct. 1, 2017. The innovation center has the funds it needs for 2018 and 2019, the report said. CMMI will receive a new mandatory appropriation in 2020. 

CHIP rescissions would come from $5 billion in previously authorized funding that went unused and another $2 billion in a contingency fund. 

CHIP had $3.1 billion in unobligated balances from Oct. 1, 2017.  The authority to obligate these funds to states expired on Sept. 30, 2017 and the remaining funding is no longer needed. 

"Enacting the rescission would have no programmatic impact," according to the proposal.

House Majority Leader Paul Ryan said by tweet that the House will soon pass the rescission package.

Democrats voiced opposition to the rescission.

Representative Bill Pascrell, Jr. of New Jersey said in a statement, "Mere months after passing a trillion-dollar tax scam designed to further enrich the top one percent, Republicans are now saying we need to reign in spending. After ordering the steak, Republicans want the middle class to pick up the check once more, now through fiendish cuts to children's health insurance, public housing, job training, environmental protection, manufacturing, and highway funding." 

Ways and Means Committee ranking member Richard Neal, a Democrat from Massachusetts said in a statement, "In order to shower benefits on the well-off and well-connected, President Trump and congressional Republicans want to slash funding for a program that provides healthcare to children in middle-class and low-income families. Tax cuts don't pay for themselves, and Republicans' most recent $2.3 trillion gift to their wealthy donors is no exception."

Conservative groups applauded the action.

"Following the disastrous FY 2018 omnibus spending bill, taxpayers were rightly outraged that Washington was busting the budget caps and exploding the national debt, and they demanded that something be done to reduce spending," said the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste President Tom Schatz in a statement.

Twitter: @SusanJMorse
Email the writer: susan.morse@himssmedia.com

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