Congress

Rescissions: An Explainer

Jan 12, 2024 | Victoria Van de Vate

As part of Fiscal Year 2024 Appropriations negotiations, you may have seen news coverage on $6.1 billion in COVID-related rescissions in the agreement reached between Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA). This is the second time in less than a year that recissions have been included in federal funding negotiations, with approximately $28 billion in unobligated COVID-19 funding rescinded as part of the debt ceiling deal last spring (H.R. 3746, The Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023.)

What are rescissions?

Rescissions are provisions of law that cancel budget authority previously provided to federal agencies before it would otherwise expire. Congress can use rescissions, along with other legislative tools, to reduce federal spending. It is important to note that recissions target “unobligated” funds, meaning dollars that were previously appropriated by Congress through law, but that federal agencies have not yet formally obligated for use or that have been returned to the federal government for reassignment.

How do rescissions impact local health departments?

Recissions target federal funding that has not been obligated for its purpose. Typically, when Congress rescinds funding, federal agencies utilize funds that states and jurisdictions returned to Treasury because they did not spend them down in the allotted grant period or Congress rescinds funds that had not yet been granted to participating jurisdictions.

Money that has been awarded to state and local health departments is considered obligated and not the target of recissions. That said, depending on the source of funds, a recission could claw back resources from a federal agency, like CDC, that had planned to make them available to local and state health departments. An example of this is money rescinded as part of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, which clawed back resources CDC planned to use to support additional years of funding for new Disease Intervention Specialists, but at the time the law was passed those funds had not been granted out of the agency. It is extremely rare for the federal government to request funds that have been granted to jurisdictions be returned to Treasury.

What is in the current rescission deal?

As part of the deal reached by Congressional leaders, reports indicate that most of the $6.1 billion in rescinded COVID funds will be from HHS. The HHS rescissions will largely come from recent recoveries of prior obligations. This includes funds recently returned by states that were unspent at the end of their project period, and other routine reconciliations as part of the grant and contract closeout process. Because these are largely recently recovered funds, this should not have a significant impact on any activities planned as of the end of FY23.

As of this publication, the details of the FY24 rescissions have not been released to the public. However, NACCHO does not expect these negotiations will have any impact on COVID relief funds that are currently with local and state health departments. We will update NACCHO members when legislative text is published.


About Victoria Van de Vate

Victoria Van de Vate is the Director of Government Affairs at NACCHO.

More posts by Victoria Van de Vate

Related Posts

Website New Episode w Special Guests
  • Press Release

NACCHO’s Podcast From Washington: New Changes to the WIC...

On this week’s episode: New Changes to WIC Program and Local Health Officer...

Apr 19, 2024

NACCHO’s Podcast From Washington: New Changes to the WIC...

  • Tools & Resources Communications & Public Relations Public Health and Homelessness

NACCHO Social Media Strategy - National Public Health...

National Public Health Week (NPHW) was from April 1 to April 7, 2024.

Apr 11, 2024 | Emma James

NACCHO Social Media Strategy - National Public Health...

White House

White House Releases President’s Fiscal Year 2025 Budget...

On March 11, the Fiscal Year 2025 budget proposal was released, outlining the...

Mar 15, 2024 | Adriane Casalotti, Victoria Van de Vate, Lauren Mastroberardino, Molly Curington

White House Releases President’s Fiscal Year 2025 Budget...

53559808328 f4b32fb806 w

2024 Local Public Health on the Hill

On February 28, 2024, local public health leaders from across the country...

Mar 01, 2024 | Victoria Van de Vate

2024 Local Public Health on the Hill

I Stock 637189564
  • Policy

Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Hearing with...

On Thursday, November 30, 2023, the House Energy and Commerce Oversight and...

Dec 08, 2023 | Dalia Karadsheh

Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Hearing with...

Cdc flu qa nivw
  • Tools & Resources COVID-19 Immunization Influenza

National Influenza Vaccination Week - #FightFlu:...

National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW) is a reminder to all Americans six...

Dec 04, 2023 | Victoria Thompson, Clarissa Montes

National Influenza Vaccination Week - #FightFlu:...

Pexels trev adams 12504957

Updates on House FY2024 Labor-Health and Human Services...

Last week, the House released their report for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2024...

Nov 17, 2023 | Lauren Mastroberardino, Victoria Van de Vate

Updates on House FY2024 Labor-Health and Human Services...

US Washington Capitol At Night

Senate Appropriations Committee Advances Labor-HHS...

On July 27, the Senate Appropriations Committee considered the Fiscal Year (FY)...

Jul 28, 2023 | Lauren Mastroberardino

Senate Appropriations Committee Advances Labor-HHS...

Solen feyissa Sg UXQMDXD g unsplash
  • Policy

House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and...

Last week, the House Appropriations Subcommittee advanced the draft of their...

Jul 27, 2023 | Lauren Mastroberardino

House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and...

Back to Top