Recessions and Unintended Consequences for NDD Programs

Trump’s Expected “Rescissions” Would Cut Funds That Agencies Still Need

The NDD United team has been working to figure out what the talk of recessions means for non-defense discretionary (NDD) programs. NDD United has put together ICA One-Pager on recession, a seldom used procedure for rolling back already appropriated money.

NDD United hope that advocates will use its one pager to explain the dangers of going down this path to both your own constituencies and those elected officials on Capitol Hill. ICA stands for the Impoundment Control Act of 1974 (the ICA.)

Former House Appropriations Democrats Communications Director Matt Dennis wrote on op-ed published in The Hill that highlights the implications of impoundments and rescissions on government agencies and Congress going forward.

Writes Dennis, “Even the introduction or debate about a rescissions package would force agencies to put on hold grants, contracts, hiring, capital investments, and other routine actions of a functional government. Whether Americans want a big government or small government, all Americans have an interest in an efficient government. Advancing a rescissions package would introduce new inefficiencies for purely political reasons.”

Bipartisan members of Congress stood up in opposition of approving the rescission package. But the “special message” being sent to Congress alone can have serious effects on the agencies and their missions because it allows funds to be impounded for 45 or more days.

NDD United feels it is important that those with an interest in NDD programs weigh in now. The NDD United Steering Committee is finalizing a letter from NDD United to Congress urging Congress to continue to oppose a rescission proposal.

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) has provided two blogs providing more background on President Trump’s expected recession package.

Writes CBPP’s Richard Kogan in the post, “Trump’ Expected ‘Rescissions” Would Cut Funding That Agencies Still Need.”

“Shifting funds that are unexpectedly unneeded to places where they are needed would have no impact on overall funding and, thus, would keep faith with the new funding caps to which policymakers agreed in the budget deal. But simply rescinding the funding — whether it was provided in the 2018 omnibus act or in some prior year — would reduce funding below the agreed-upon caps and break faith with that agreement.”

NDD United is an alliance of hundreds of national, state, and local organizations working to protect investments in core government functions that benefit all Americans. The programs–known in the nation’s capital as non-defense discretionary or “NDD” programs—include:

  • veterans affairs;
  • medical and scientific research;
  • education and job training;
  • infrastructure;
  • public safety and law enforcement;
  • public health;
  • weather monitoring and environmental protection;
  • natural and cultural resources;
  • housing and social services; and
  • international relations.

Each day these programs support economic growth and strengthen the safety and security of every American in every state and community across the nation.

Rescissions and Unintended Consequences

Matt Dennis’ Op-ed

CBPP’s Richard Kogan’s Blog post

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