Washington, D.C. – Today U.S. Representative Rick Larsen (WA-02) voted for a fiscal responsibility bill that requires Congress to offset spending with savings elsewhere in the budget. Under the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act 2009, any net costs of legislation enacted during a session of Congress must be offset with an across-the-board reduction in certain mandatory programs. The legislation, also known as PAYGO or H.R. 2920, passed the House by a vote of 265 -166 and must clear the Senate before it could be signed into law.
“Families have to balance their checkbooks and clearly Congress should follow the same rules,” said Larsen. “Reducing the deficit is a critical priority for our country’s economic future. PAYGO is not a cure-all, but it is a key step to finally restoring fiscal discipline and beginning to bring down the deficit.”
Today’s bill is similar to legislation passed in the 1990s which helped turn the deficits accumulated in the two previous presidencies into record surpluses. The last Administration and Congress waived PAYGO and ultimately allowed it to expire in 2002. In 2007, Congress made PAYGO a part of House rules and is now working with President Obama to give it the force of law.