U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce
U.S. CONGRESSIONAL News:
WASHINGTON, D.C. ― U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce voted Thursday in favor of H.R. 3, the Spending Cuts to Expired and Unnecessary Programs Act.
This bill rescinds nearly $15 billion in unspent, unauthorized funding that Congress had previously approved. President Trump first announced his intent to send Congress a rescission package in May. The act of requesting rescissions of unspent and unauthorized programs was granted to the President through the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974.
“Just like every New Mexican family, the federal government must be fiscally responsible and live within its means. As a nation, we cannot afford to leave our children and future generations with the financial burden of our inability to properly budget and spend,” Pearce said.
“As I stated when the President first announced his intention to send a rescission package to Congress, this is a responsible step to tackling our nation’s growing debt crisis. When the government allocates money for a project and it cannot be spent we owe it to the American people to correct that. At the same time, it is important that this action does not come at the expense of the nation’s most vulnerable. I believe H.R. 3 strikes this balance,” continued Pearce.
“Part of this bill addresses CHIP funds. In January and February, Congress authorized CHIP for the next ten years. Due to this long-term certainty, it is no longer necessary to keep high levels of contingency funds in the program. I have and I always will stand committed to ensuring our nation’s children and those in need have access to critical services. CHIP and other public health priorities are vital for highly rural and low-income communities in New Mexico. It is important to note that the actions taken in this bill does nothing to harm or go back on the commitment we have made to New Mexican and the nation’s children earlier this year, nor will it impact the sustainability of the program.”
In January, Congress voted and passed the longest extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in the program’s 20-year history, authorizing $21.5 billion for FY18 with a gradual increase to $25.9 billion for FY22 and FY23. This reauthorization also continues enhanced match through FY19, a 23% increase in the federal share of CHIP funding for states. In February, the Bipartisan Budget Act extended CHIP an additional four years for a cumulative ten-year extension.
The President first announced his intent to send a rescission package to Congress in May. The package he sent on June 5, 2018, which became H.R. 3, includes two provisions related to CHIP, however, rescinding these funds will have no impact on the program. This proposal also rescinds $1.9 billion in amounts made available for the CHIP Contingency Fund, which provides payments to States that experience funding shortfalls due to higher than expected enrollment. Currently, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services does not anticipate any State will be required to use Contingency Fund payments in FY18. All sufficient funding is still made available should a state qualify for Contingency Fund payments.