Offsets, Supplemental Appropriations, and the Disaster Relief Fund: FY1990-FY2013 [May 31, 2016] [open pdf - 788KB]
From the Summary: "This report discusses the history of the use of offsetting rescissions to pay for supplemental appropriations to the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Disaster Relief Fund (DRF) from FY1990 through FY2013. As Congress debated the growing size of the budget deficit and national debt, efforts intensified to control spending and offset the costs of legislation. Several times between FY1990 and FY2013, the question of offsetting disaster relief spending became a focus of congressional debate. Usually, in the time reviewed, supplemental disaster relief funding was treated as emergency spending. This designation exempted it from counting against discretionary budget caps, and from needing an offset. However, supplemental spending measures at times have carried rescissions that have offset, to one degree or another, their budgetary impact. In some instances, supplemental spending measures have contained both appropriations for the DRF and offsetting rescissions, but without a specific link between the two. […] In past debates over whether supplemental funding for the DRF should be offset, Congress discussed past precedents. Through independent research, Congressional Research Service (CRS) identified three specific incidences from FY1990 through FY2013 where bills that had an impact on the level of funding available in the DRF were fully offset, but only one case in which CRS can authoritatively state that supplemental funding for the DRF was completely offset by rescissions."
CRS Report for Congress, R42458