Politico Budget and Appropriations Reporter Sarah Ferris, and David Hawkings, senior editor of CQ Roll Call, discuss the White House requesting to cut $15 billion worth of spending accounts, and congressional efforts to revive a VA reform plan.
This week, the White House is expected to request $15 billion worth of budget cuts. The announcement comes shortly after the President’s proposal to renegotiate parts of the omnibus spending bill received a tepid response from Congress. The budget cuts laid out in this new rescission plan would mostly come from unused spending accounts dating back to the early 1990s. According to Sarah Ferris, budget and appropriations reporter at Politico, these cuts are mostly just for show. “The White House wants the appearance of cutting spending, the appearance of this belt‑tightening approach, but in reality, they’re looking at money that has been used as offsets in the budget world,” Ferris told Government Matters. “Critics of the idea say that this is not that much that they are cutting. This is a lot of the kinds of things they are doing over and over to make it look like they are really trying to cut spending.” “[Trump] wants to make a point, and Republicans in Congress want to make a point,” said David Hawkings, senior editor of CQ Roll Call. “It sounds ridiculous, 15 billion is an enormous amount of money, but It’s 1.5 percent, less than that, of what they appropriated for this year…These are rounding errors in the grand scheme of things and it’s not going to happen anyway. The Republicans will get to cast some votes… but this is not about legislating, this is about messaging.”