House

McCarthy: ‘Premature’ to reject rescissions of omnibus

Greg Nash

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said Tuesday he stands by his call to claw back some of the spending in the $1.3 trillion omnibus bill approved by Congress last month despite Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) dismissal of the idea.

McConnell said it would be ill-advised for Republicans to walk back on the deal they made with Democrats, telling Fox News, “You can’t make an agreement one month and say: ‘OK, we really didn’t mean it.’ “

But McCarthy — who’s been discussing using the 1974 Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act to rescind funds from the massive spending package with President Donald Trump — said he doesn’t see rescissions reneging on the deficit-busting agreement, arguing that it’s “premature” to discount the proposal before they’ve seen what’s in it.

{mosads}”Rescissions are not about the [omnibus] — it’s about saving money. You could have some unencumbered funds that are still out there from past times.” he told The Hill. “If you look under [former President] Clinton, during Clinton’s administration they did it 111 times. Reagan proposed 600 times to do this. It’s a way to save money.”

House conservatives, who were highly critical of the omnibus, have applauded the idea, arguing retroactive cuts would be a step in the right direction in reducing the deficit. 

Some speculate McCarthy’s support of a rescission package could factor into his chances of securing conservative votes needed to succeed House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). The California Republican will need to win the support of the House Freedom Caucus to lock up the 218 votes needed win the position. 

The administration aims to send its rescission requests to Congress early next month, which would then need to be approved by both chambers in a simple majority vote. 

Critics have expressed concerns that utilizing the maneuver could hinder the ability to negotiate deals across the aisle in the future.

But proponents say it could give Republicans an opportunity to boost their fiscal credentials ahead of a difficult midterm election cycle. 

Tags Donald Trump Kevin McCarthy Mitch McConnell Paul Ryan

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