Originally published June 2018:
On Thursday, June 7th, the House of Representatives passed the Spending Cuts to Expired and Unnecessary Programs Act. This Act would rescind funds from the budget for programs that are no longer needed.
Approximately $15 billion of hard-earned taxpayer dollars are sitting, unused, in funds that are no longer necessary. This is not a recent phenomenon. In 1974, a tool has been available for the president to request rescissions on unused or unneeded money. This is a simple measure to save some money in the budget for more current line items.
Presidents from both parties regularly used this tool from 1974 until 2000. In that time, there have been propositions for $76 billion. President Trump has rightfully used this tool again for the first time in 18 years. Taxpayer money sitting, unused, is a clear waste. As Congressman Dan Newhouse (R-WA) said in a press release, “Congress must align government spending – which is all taxpayers’ money – with our promises to taxpayers. Steadying the fiscal ship of state will require a continuous effort to cut wasteful spending. Rescinding unspent funds is an important step to rein in spending, especially when our national debt exceeds $21 trillion.”
This bill rescinds funding from a Railroad Retirement Program that ended in 2012, and a Department of Energy loan program that has not made a loan since 2011. It rescinds old, unused (and cannot be used) funding from programs that already received new funding. All of these funds should be returned back to the Federal Treasury.
This seems like a bill that both parties can support. Unused funds being utilized properly should be a bipartisan win. The only ones who disagree with this notion are Democrats. Zero Democrats voted for this bill. It passed because Republicans have the majority in Congress.
The same number of Democrats who voted for tax cuts voted for saving money in the budget – none. This means that Democrats have no plan to provide tax relief to millions of Americans, and they have no plan to balance the budget. Democrats only want bigger government, more tax dollars, and more power.
Kathleen Rice voted against this bill. Its time to have a representative who will help balance our budget and cut wasteful spending. To be fiscally responsible, we must have a Republican House of Representative in November. Ameer Benno is the one who can represent the interests of the 4th District of New York.