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 over 10 years, according to an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

The administration asked Congress last week to cancel budget authority from a variety of defunct accounts and unobligated funds through a special budgeting provision called a rescission. The House introduced a substantively identical bill to carry the request forward.

But 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. The White House had estimated that the package would reduce outlays by three times that amount.

"Many of the amounts proposed for rescission have remained unspent by agencies for years; CBO reviewed the historical spending patterns of the affected accounts and concluded that most of the funding would not be spent under current law," the CBO analysis stated.

Either amount would represent a miniscule portion of federal spending, which has exceeded $4 trillion in recent years.

The analysis also contradicted complaints from Democrats, who have blasted the decision to target funds from two accounts in the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

While the rescissions package looks to slash budget authority worth a combined $7 billion from CHIP accounts, the CBO found that neither would actually result in reduced spending, as the targeted funds were overages from contingency funds that were not slated to be spent.

"CBO estimates that rescinding the unobligated balances would reduce budget authority by $7 billion, but would not affect outlays, or the number of individuals with insurance coverage," the report found.

Still, Democrats insisted that Republicans wait for more information before moving the rescissions bills ahead.

House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiMadeleine Albright slams Trump over immigration Pelosi: GOP is 'complicit' in separating families Conservative groups outline new ObamaCare repeal plan MORE (D-Calif.) and Rep. Nita LoweyNita Sue LoweyOvernight Health Care — Sponsored by PCMA — Dems see midterm advantage in new ObamaCare fight Members of Congress demand new federal gender pay audit Lawmakers ask for increase in suicide prevention funding MORE (D-N.Y.), the ranking member of the House Appropriations Committee, requested in a letter to Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanTrump vows to stand with House GOP '1,000 percent' on immigration Heckler yells ‘Mr. President, f--- you’ as Trump arrives at Capitol Hoyer: GOP centrists 'sold out' Dreamers MORE (R-Wis.) that any votes be postponed until after the Government Accountability Office weighs in on the legislation on May 22.

“It is unacceptable for Republicans to continue their practice of ramming bills through the House in order to escape public scrutiny. A rushed process deprives both the House and the American people of the opportunity to understand the true impacts of the rescission legislation," the Democrats wrote.