House GOP prepares to consider Trump's $15 billion clawback

House GOP prepares to consider Trump's $15 billion clawback
© Greg Nash

House Republicans are preparing to take action on a $15 billion rescissions package in coming weeks amid a conservative push for Congress to claw back spending as lawmakers return from recess.  

The White House is considering tweaking its initial proposal — an idea spearheaded by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyAfter police rip Trump for Jan. 6, McCarthy again blames Pelosi Capitol Police asked to arrest the maskless 228 Republican lawmakers urge Supreme Court to overrule Roe v. Wade MORE (R-Calif.) after discussions with President TrumpDonald TrumpMeghan McCain: Democrats 'should give a little credit' to Trump for COVID-19 vaccine Trump testing czar warns lockdowns may be on table if people don't get vaccinated Overnight Health Care: CDC details Massachusetts outbreak that sparked mask update | White House says national vaccine mandate 'not under consideration at this time' MORE in April — as GOP leadership is still short of the votes needed to pass the measure.

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While the package still faces some pushback — with critics fearing it could hinder future bipartisan negotiations — House GOP leadership is currently whipping the measure as pressure mounts on the party's lawmakers to slash spending ahead of the midterm election cycle.

"Support for the President’s rescissions request is growing by the day and Leader McCarthy continues to actively support the whip operation to send these spending cuts to the Senate," McCarthy spokesman Matt Sparks told The Hill in a statement. "The House is expected to consider it when we return from the district work period."

Conservative activist groups including FreedomWorks, the Heritage Foundation and Tea Party Patriots have recently expressed their support of the idea, pushing Republicans to act on the rollback in funding following Congress's $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill.

"Small steps are better than no steps. Oftentimes, these unobligated funds are used as fake offsets in appropriations bills to allow for higher spending," FreedomWorks president Adam Brandon wrote of the package. "Therefore, although not intended to be spent for their original purpose, it is important to take away the opportunity to repurpose the spending as offsets by rescinding them."

While the rescissions would cut just a fraction of the spending in the massive government funding bill, proponents argue it's a good start to a more fiscally conservative approach to governing.

"Approving this initial $15.4 billion rescissions request in full -- pulling back funds sitting in useless accounts that can only otherwise be used to spend more in the future -- is a task that conservatives in Congress should wholeheartedly endorse," Brandon continued. "It is one of few opportunities to exercise any semblance of fiscal discipline. It is only one small step towards actually tackling Washington’s out-of-control spending addiction, but it represents a chance to begin this fight."

Democrats have voiced strong opposition to the White House proposal, with House Minority Whip Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerHouse adjourns for recess without passing bill to extend federal eviction ban Top Democrat: 'A lot of spin' coming from White House on infrastructure House passes sprawling spending bill ahead of fall shutdown fight MORE (D-Md.) blasting its call to cut a contingency fund for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) while leaving defense discretionary spending intact.

McCarthy dismissed allegations it would negatively impact CHIP, arguing it targets untouchable funding and saves taxpayers money.

GOP Sens. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeHouse GOP stages mask mandate protest 228 Republican lawmakers urge Supreme Court to overrule Roe v. Wade Economic growth rose to 6.5 percent annual rate in second quarter MORE (Utah), Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonTrump urged DOJ officials to call election corrupt 'and leave the rest to me' Chuck Todd is dead wrong: Liberal bias defines modern journalism Grassley pressured to run as Democrats set sights on Iowa MORE (Wis.), Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyBlack women look to build upon gains in coming elections Watch live: GOP senators present new infrastructure proposal Sasse rebuked by Nebraska Republican Party over impeachment vote MORE (Pa.), Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstGrassley pressured to run as Democrats set sights on Iowa Republicans focus tax hike opposition on capital gains change Biden signs bill to bolster crime victims fund MORE (Iowa), David Perdue (Ga.), John KennedyJohn Neely KennedyMORE (La.), Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - A huge win for Biden, centrist senators Only two people cited by TSA for mask violations have agreed to pay fine Senators reach billion deal on emergency Capitol security bill MORE (Ky.), Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeBiden nominates former Sen. Tom Udall as New Zealand ambassador Biden to nominate Jane Hartley as UK ambassador: report The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Goldman Sachs - Voting rights will be on '22, '24 ballots MORE (Ariz.) and Ben SasseBen SasseSasse calls China's Xi a 'coward' after Apple Daily arrest Defunct newspaper's senior editor arrested in Hong Kong Murkowski: Trump has 'threatened to do a lot' to those who stand up to him MORE (Neb.) introduced the rescissions package in the upper chamber late last week, with supporters hoping it would be taken up in committee before the window for it to be discharged runs out. 

“Yes, a $15 billion spending reduction is a drop in the bucket compared to a $15 trillion debt,” Lee said in a statement. “But we have to start cutting spending somewhere."