by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
President Trump and congressional Republicans could target up to about $117 billion in spending on nondefense government programs this year, leaving Democrats unable to do anything about it.
That figure represents the difference between the Trump administration’s request for domestic nondefense spending and the levels reflected in the omnibus spending bill Congress passed on a bipartisan basis last month.
Now, the Trump administration is preparing to claw back some of the spending set in the omnibus via the Impoundment Act, a tool not used in recent years.
Through impoundment, Trump can propose to rescind authorized spending, and budget experts believe that Congress can follow through with just a simple majority vote — avoiding the Democratic filibuster in the Senate that required Republicans to negotiate with Democrats in the first place.
Trump could propose to cut any of the $1.3 trillion in government spending that was included in the omnibus spending bill, likely targeting nondefense spending.