DAU GLOSSARY DEFINITION
An action by the President canceling Budget Authority (BA) previously appropriated but not yet obligated or spent. The President is required to submit a special message to Congress reporting any proposed rescission of budgetary resources. This proposal may be accepted in whole or part by the passage of a rescission bill by both Houses of Congress. If both houses of Congress do not approve the proposed rescission within 45 days, the President must obligate the BA as intended by the Congress.
A rescission is a permanent impounding or cancellation of funds (e.g., due to program cancellation). In a rescission action, the President (actually done by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on his behalf) sends a special message (usually a memorandum) to Congress stating his desire that Congress rescind a specific amount of funds appropriated for a specific purpose based on a specific reason. If both the House and Senate agree with the President’s proposed rescission action, Congress must pass a rescission act or joint resolution to rescind those funds. If Congress does not pass a rescission bill or joint resolution within 45 days of continuous session, the funds must be released and made available for obligation. In addition to this method of requesting Congressional rescission, such a request may be made by including the same information in the President’s Budget submission. In this case, Congress considers the rescission request along with the request for new budget authority and, if approved, includes appropriate language in the appropriations act.