In a misguided attempt to reduce the deficit caused by the GOP tax bill, the president has asked Congress to cut the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) by $7 billion.
Due in large part to the tax-cut law, the federal deficit is expected to swell to $1 trillion by 2020.
The request is part of a scheme to cut a total of $15 billion from the U.S. budget by cancelling unspent funds from CHIP, the Affordable Care Act (ACA, more commonly known as Obamacare), a vehicle technology program, railroad benefits, and the response fund for the 2015 Ebola outbreak.
If $15 billion in cancellations of unspent funds seems a bit excessive, it may come as a surprise that this is actually a scaled-back version of the original request.
These rescission packages allow the president to strip pre-approved funding from the hard-fought March omnibus bill.
- $5.1 billion cancelled that would’ve gone towards reimbursements to states for children’s health care costs
- $1.9 billion cancelled that was designated as a contingency fund to prevent states from running out of money
- $800 million from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, an offshoot program of the Affordable Care Act
- $4.3 billion from the Department of Energy’s Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing loan program, which is tasked with advancing technology for fuel efficient vehicles
- $252 million in funds that were meant to address the 2015 Ebola outbreak but somehow get spent at all (by the way, there’s currently an Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo, so the money should really just be forwarded on to curbing that potential epidemic)
- $123 million in unspent funds that were designated for a railroad workers’ benefits program
- $148 million from an animal inspection fund