Press Release

Paygo Passes House to Steer Budget Back on Track

Landmark Pay-As-You-Go Spending Rules Aim to Restore Fiscal Surpluses of the 1990s

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Washington, February 4, 2010 | Ashley Patterson ((202) 225-1640) | comments
Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28) today helped pass statutory Pay-As-You-Go legislation to reestablish spending rules for Congress to rein-in federal spending, draw down the nation’s debt and restore the fiscal discipline of the 1990s when deficits were turned into record-setting surpluses. PAYGO rules last expired in the House in late 2002.
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Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28) today helped pass statutory Pay-As-You-Go legislation to reestablish spending rules for Congress to rein-in federal spending, draw down the nation’s debt and restore the fiscal discipline of the 1990s when deficits were turned into record-setting surpluses. PAYGO rules last expired in the House in late 2002.

"This is a pivot point for the American people and our economic future as a nation," said Congressman Cuellar. "PAYGO will get us off this path of unsustainable spending and put our budget back on track so our children and grandchildren do not inherit a bankrupt nation. This is a historic move to restore our nation’s economic health and spark economic growth."

Congressman Cuellar and his colleagues in the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Coalition joined House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (MD-5) Wednesday calling on the House to pass PAYGO to balance the nation’s budget. The 54 member coalition has championed PAYGO’s return over the last decade.

"Passing PAYGO is the swiftest action we can take to restore fiscal responsibility," said Congressman Cuellar. "This is results-proof policy built on bipartisan ideas to better our economy."

On Thursday, the House passed PAYGO by a vote of 233-187, and when signed into law by the President, PAYGO would require that all new federal spending be offset and balanced by spending reductions and revenue raisers. PAYGO would also force a serious reexamination of the nation’s wasteful federal budget subsidies to ensure the nation’s top priorities, like education, are adequately funded for the future.

PAYGO rules would apply to all non-emergency spending, excluding Social Security, Medicaid, Food Stamps and other low-income programs which help sustain America’s most vulnerable populations.

The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that without restoring PAYGO, budget deficits that grow faster than the economy will ultimately become unsustainable.

"Under these rules, Congress can’t spend a penny without cutting a penny from elsewhere," said Congressman Cuellar. "Everyday Americans live on a budget and now Washington will again operate in the same way."

PAYGO will allow some economic-relief measures to continue without offsets, including the child tax credit and lower income tax rates for middle class Americans making less than $250,000.

It will also ensure Medicare physician payments through 2014 are fully paid for.

"The budget should be a balancing act between meeting our needs and providing relief to low and middle-income Americans," said Congressman Cuellar. "But at the end of the day, all Americans will hurt if we don’t take this crucial step to bring the deficit down. PAYGO is the turning point."
 
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Congressman Henry Cuellar is a member of the U.S. House Homeland Security, Agriculture, and Government Oversight & Reform Committees in the 111th Congress. Accessibility to constituents, education, health care, economic development, and national security are his priorities. Congressman Cuellar is also a Senior Whip and member of the Blue Dog Coalition.
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