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Davis sponsors bill to reclaim unspent funds

Thomas Clatterbuck

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Authorizing spending is one of the chief powers of the legislature. The so called “power of the purse” lets Congress appropriate money to be spent by various agencies. These agencies then dutifully spend as much money as they are allowed. When there is a spending issue, it is normally that projects have overspent. But what happens in those cases when there is money left over? Where does the money go?

The answer is typically nowhere. Unspent money just sits waiting to be used. If the spending authority expires, then the money cannot be spent at all. HR 3 has identified over $15 billion in funds that either cannot be spent, or are not being spent.

Congressman Rodney Davis (R-13) said, “It’s just common sense that we rescind billions of taxpayer dollars that have gone years without being spent and in many cases can no longer be used because the authorizing authority has expired. An example of this is $523 million in energy loan guarantees program authorized as part of President Obama’s 800-billion-dollar stimulus bill that were not used and lapsed seven years ago.”

Sponsors of the bill stressed that it only impacts older appropriations and programs. It would not impact any funding authorized in the Fiscal Year 2018 Omnibus bill. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) stated that the bill would not affect CHIP payments to states over the 2018-2028 period.

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Senior strategist, statehouse reporter and political correspondent for Springfield Daily. Graduate of District 117 and UIS. Thomas covers stories in both Morgan and Sangamon Counties, as well as statewide politics.

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