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THE BIG DEAL: The White House will ask Congress to revoke $15 billion in spending — more than the $11 billion it had initially been expected to request.
The formal request to rescind $15 billion in spending is now expected on Tuesday, a day later than previously expected, according to a White House official. The request will start a 45-day period for Congress to take action.
The change from $11 billion to $15 billion is an attempt to find a compromise among competing factions of Republicans.
Conservatives want the rescinded figure to be as high as possible, while other Republicans said seeking to claw back recently approved money that was part of a bipartisan deal would hurt the appropriations process.
But a rescission package is likely to face a difficult road to passage in the House and would appear to be dead on arrival in the Senate, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has not shown interest. The Hill’s Niv Elis and Juliegrace Brufke take us inside the fight.
How we got here: The White House floated the idea of clawing back spending shortly after President Trump signed a $1.3 trillion bipartisan spending bill into law in late March. The spending bill was strongly criticized by conservatives for busting the nation’s budget.
Critics of the claw-back maneuver said proposals to rescind as much as $60 billion would fly in the face of bipartisan negotiations that led to the spending bill, which was approved in the GOP-controlled House and Senate with Democratic votes.
What comes next: McConnell had made it clear that he does not want to take up the recission bill. Despite his insistence on sticking to the bipartisan agreement, the more pressing factor is the severe shortage of Senate floor time.
McConnell is rushing to confirm as many Trump nominees as possible before Congress recesses for the midterm elections. Democrats have waged a desperate war against the slew of conservative judges Republicans have cranked through the Senate, and there are dozens of critical federal vacancies yet to be filled under Trump.
The Senate will also need to clear a massive defense spending bill before the recess, giving McConnell little time to wage yesterday’s battles.
All told, the spending clawback package could die almost as soon as it hits the Senate.
ON TAP TOMORROW
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