NAICU Washington Update

Rescission Package Spares Student Aid

May 10, 2018

Six weeks after passage of the final FY 2018 Omnibus Appropriations bill, the White House submitted a rescission package to Congress that does not include cuts to the student aid programs.

In response to his buyer’s remorse for enacting the $1.3 trillion FY 2018 Omnibus Appropriations Bill, President Trump asked Congress to give him the line item veto to curb spending. Soon after, he started talking about a $65 billion rescission package to cut back funds enacted in the FY 2018 bill.  During the weeks that followed passage of the appropriations bill, however, bipartisan congressional leaders made clear they would not pass legislation rolling back funding they had just enacted. 

The higher education community sent a letter to Congress and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Mick Mulvaney outlining how rescissions to the student aid programs would financially harm students and families, especially those who had just committed to schools based on particular financial aid packages.

The good news is that as a result of the back and forth between Congress and OMB, and the opportunity for interest groups to weigh in to support their programs, the rescission package released May 8 does not include cuts to the student aid programs.  And, instead of $65 billion in cuts to FY 2018 funds, the package proposes $15 billion in cuts only to past years’ unobligated funds. 

The bad news is that the White House has said this package is the first of a series, the next of which may include cuts to FY 2018 funding.

Congress would need to act on the administration’s proposal in legislative form, which can take up to 45 days. 

For more information on the congressional process once it receives a rescission package, please see this backgrounder from NDD United, a coalition NAICU participates in that supports funding for non-defense discretionary programs.

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