CHN: Spending Cuts Package Falls in the Senate
Advocates breathed a sigh of relief when, on June 20, the Senate failed to bring to the floor the White House’s proposed package of domestic spending cuts, also known as rescissions. Supporters of the package tried a little-used rule in the Senate that allows members to force a bill out of committee and onto the floor with 50 votes, but only 48 senators voted in favor of moving the bill. Sens. Richard Burr (R-NC) and Susan Collins (R-ME) joined all Democrats in opposing the move; Sen. Burr voted no because of a cut to the Land and Water Conservation Fund that was included in the package, and Sen. Collins said she opposed the rescissions process. The surprising vote came just days before the June 22nd deadline for using special rules that would allow the package to pass with a simple majority vote.
Advocates opposed the rescissions not only because of the bad cuts to housing, health, and other programs, but because they believe the loss of some of these dollars will make it harder to provide adequate funding levels for human needs priorities in FY19 and beyond. The rescissions package would have also set a dangerous precedent for undoing bipartisan spending decisions. CHN was joined by 150 national organizations in sending a letter to Congress opposing the cuts. For more information, see CHN’s statement on the rescissions package and our June 19 Human Needs Report.