President Trump Requests $15B in Budgetary Rescissions, Includes CHIP Funding

This week, the Trump Administration announced its plans to utilize a rare budgetary exercise to request a “rescission” – or claw-back – of $15 billion in federal funds, including those set aside for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Ebola response, and other health-related items. The Trump Administration rescission request targets federal funds appropriated but not expended and is the largest such rescission request by any U.S. President.

While the request proposes to claw-back $7 billion for CHIP, no impact to CHIP coverage is expected over the 2018-2028 period during which the program is authorized, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). Of the $7 billion request, $5.1 billion in previously authorized funds would be rescinded; the expenditure authority period for the $5.1 billion to be sent to states expired on September 30, 2017. The remaining $1.9 billion that is proposed to be rescinded is a part of the Child Enrollment Contingency Fund, which is intended to be used only in the event of a budget shortfall. The Trump Administration argues that with the economy improving, demand for CHIP will decrease, rendering little need for such contingency fund.

Also included in the Trump Administration’s rescission request is a claw-back of $252 million in excess funds from the 2015 Ebola outbreak response and $800 million from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) which is in excess of funds needed for FY 2018 and 2019.

Congress has 45 days to respond to President Trump’s request. The House and Senate must approve of the request by a majority vote in both chambers for the rescissions to take effect. The full rescission request from White House is available here.