Last budget cycle, individual voter and advocacy groups like the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) helped to push a strong budget package through Congress, one which the President ultimately – if reluctantly – signed. Immediately after that budget deal was done and a fiscal year (FY) 2018 appropriations omnibus was delivered (with an extra $2 billion for agriculture appropriations), the Administration seemed to regret its decision. On May 8, 2018, just months after signing an FY 2018 budget deal that included an additional $300 billion for discretionary and non-defense programs, President Trump sent Congress a package of proposed rescissions of federal spending. Rescission proposals from a President are a rarely used budget tool (we have not seen one since the Clinton Administration) that are designed to claw back federal funding that has already been allocated, but not yet spent.
In total, the President has asked Congress to cut $15.4 billion from discretionary programs under the rescissions package. For farm and food programs, nearly $1 billion in cuts are on the table, with conservation and rural development programs as the prime targets.
The Rescission Process
Rescissions proposals from Congress are fairly common and are typically a routine part the appropriations process. Recissions initiated by the President, however, are quite rare in recent history and must go through a somewhat complex process dictated by the Impoundment Control Act of 1974.
Source: National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, June 1, 2018