President Donald Trump has kept a watchful eye over the bureaucracy in Washington D.C. in order to make the firings and cuts needed to cut the administrative state down to size. Congress is starting to follow his lead, as the House of Representatives passed H.R. 3, The Spending Cuts to Expired and Unnecessary Programs Act last week.
“In keeping with his promise to get our fiscal house back in order, President Donald J. Trump exercised his authority under the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974 (ICA) in early May by sending to the Congress a package of $15 billion in proposed rescissions of Federal funds,” the White House wrote in a press release.
Under the ICA, Trump has proposed cutting the following agencies or programs: the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program, the Title 17 Innovative Technology Loan Guarantee Program, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, Ebola Response, Railroad Unemployment Insurance Extended Benefits, and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. Many of these programs have already expired or are wasteful expenditures as determined by the Trump administration.
“In line with this historic request, H.R. 3 would rescind funding that is not needed for its intended purposes, or that has been sitting unused within agencies for years and return it to the American taxpayer. President Trump and this Administration are fully committed to protecting taxpayers, and Senate passage of this legislation is critical to reducing wasteful, unnecessary spending and making our Federal Government more efficient, effective, and accountable,” the White House wrote.
H.R. 3 was introduced by Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) with 16 Republican co-sponsors. While the Congress has been notorious for dragging its heels throughout the Trump administration, this move shows that Republicans in Congress may finally be getting themselves into gear. Free market watchdogs in the beltway are taking notice of the turn toward fiscal responsibility by the Trump GOP.
“With an ever-rising national debt of over $21 trillion and a projection from the Congressional Budget Office that the debt held by the public will nearly eclipse the size of the economy by 2028, we desperately need fiscal responsibility in Washington,” said Adam Brandon, who is the current CEO of FreedomWorks, in a blog post. “Ideally, this would be a true cap on spending that results in a balanced budget.
“However, small steps are better than no steps. Unobligated funds are used as fake offsets in appropriations bills to allow for higher spending. It is important to take away the opportunity to repurpose the spending as offsets by rescinding them.”
The legislation passed on Jun. 7 by a narrow 210-106 margin in the U.S. House. The Senate will have to follow suit before Trump can sign the bill into law, and the Republican Party can begin to deliver on its oft-repeated promises of cutting government waste.