Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH), ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, today commented on the President's new legislative proposal, Reduce Unnecessary Spending Act of 2010. Senator Gregg proposed rescission language in 2009 and 2007 called A Second Look at Wasteful Spending.
"We are in the midst of a fiscal crisis when spending, borrowing and debt levels are at dangerous levels. While I am still reviewing the President's new proposal, I support the concept of rescission authority, a tool that allows Congress to take a second look at some of its spending in order to block wasteful items. However, it is critical that rescinded funds go for deficit reduction -- not put back on the table to be spent elsewhere."
A Second Look at Wasteful Spending Act of 2009, which Senator Gregg offered with Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT) in March 2009, gave the President the opportunity to force Congress to take a second look at wasteful spending - including both discretionary spending and new mandatory spending -- as well as targeted tax cuts. Had the 2009 Act been enacted, it would have allowed:
* The President can send Congress up to 4 rescission packages per year.
* Congress would be required to fast track the President's recommendation and consider it within 8 days.
* Unlike the previous 1996 line-item veto proposal, A Second Look at Wasteful Spending requires Congressional affirmation of the President's rescission package.
* Savings from rescissions passed by Congress must be used for deficit reduction.
* The Act sunsets after 6 years -- giving Congress the ability to re-evaluate the merits of rescission authority after President Obama has had the opportunity to use.
* Allows any member to offer a motion to strike any proposed rescission of discretionary budget authority, an item of direct spending or a targeted tax benefit (with the support of 11 other senators).