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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Pay-Go, Gone

S.10 - Pay-As-You-Go-bill:

This bill would reinstate pay-as-you-go budgeting rules, also known as PAYGO. These rules would require any expenses that Congress approves to be offset by equal or greater gains in surplus elsewhere. A provision is included in the bill that would allow Congress to suspend these rules if 3/5 of the members voted to do so.

Restoring Fiscal Discipline Act of 2007 - Makes it out of order in the Senate to consider any direct spending or revenue legislation that would increase or cause an on-budget deficit during certain specified time periods. Makes it out of order in the Senate to consider, under the expedited procedures applicable to reconciliation in the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 (CBA), any bill, resolution, amendment, amendment between chambers, motion, or conference report that increases the deficit or reduces the surplus in the first fiscal year or the ensuing five or 10 fiscal years covered by the most recently adopted concurrent resolution on the budget. Makes it out of order in the Senate to consider, pursuant to CBA, any resolution, concurrent resolution, amendment, amendment between the chambers, motion, or conference report that contains reconciliation directives that would increase the deficit or reduce the surplus in such fiscal years.

The Hill reports today that while Democrats passed the Pay-Go bill, due to loopholes written into the bill, they are also bypassing the intent of the bill for "special" exceptions like enacting parts of their job-creation agenda.

Republicans voted en masse against the pay-go legislation, criticizing Democrats for including language that would allow exemptions to it. Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) said Democrats’ move to bypass pay-go using emergency exemptions proves that the pay-go law is just a “political statement, not a substantive event.”

“They continue to claim some sort of fiscal discipline ... when in fact they basically keep spending money like drunken sailors,” Gregg said.

No matter how good the reason, anyone living on a budget, week to week, understands what Congress simply does not.. you cannot continue to spend money that you do not have.