‘Line’ Items: Recess and Rescissions

Lots of Assignments Due After Recess – Lawmakers are home this week for the Memorial Day recess. When they come back next week they will have a lot of unfinished business. Congress was unable to enact a war supplemental or “tax extenders” legislation before adjourning. Disagreement over paying for the huge costs of the bills has delayed their passage. CRFB decried the inability to find offsets last week. CQ noted that the trepidation among many members of Congress to foot the large bill may be a sign that fiscal discipline is taking precedence over deficit-financed stimulus. Additionally, legislators still haven’t made a final decision on a FY 2011 budget resolution even though appropriations season is at hand.

Presidential Rescission Authority Proposed – House Budget Committee Chairman John Spratt (D-SC) late last week introduced legislation to enact the enhanced rescission authority proposed by the White House. The “Reduce Unnecessary Spending Act” would create a fast-track process whereby the president would send a list of items to strike out of spending bills within 45 days of the passage of the legislation and Congress would be required to vote on the rescissions without changes within 25 days.