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Rescission Package Very Small Step in Right Direction

For Immediate Release

The White House unveiled a $15 billion package of proposed spending rescissions on Tuesday, which they estimated will reduce federal outlays by $3 billion.

The following is a statement from Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget:

A $15 billion rescission package isn’t going to fix the debt, but it’s a start. In a $4 trillion budget, there are bound to be funds we simply don’t need; the President deserves credit for trying to identify some of these dollars. Congress should seriously consider the President’s proposed rescission package, or at least a subset of it.

Today’s specific rescission package will have little effect on the budget deficit since the proposed cuts are relatively small and most are to funds that will never be spent anyway. But every little bit helps, and getting in the habit of supporting spending cuts without putting the money toward new policies is a step in the right direction.

Prior to FY 2001, presidential rescission requests were a regular part of the budget process, and with the country headed toward trillion-dollar deficits, they should be again. In fact, Congress should consider giving the President some form of enhanced rescission authority – something supported by Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

Meanwhile, members of both parties should work together to identify wasteful spending and tax breaks to cut while pursuing the revenue and entitlement reforms that will be needed to truly slow the rapidly rising and unsustainable growth of red ink.

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For more information contact Patrick Newton, press secretary, at newton@crfb.org.