Blue Dog Leadership: Senate Republicans Just Broke Their Own Rules on Fiscal Responsibility

Oct 19, 2017
Press Release

Today, the co-chairs of the fiscally-responsible, Democratic Blue Dog Coalition—Reps. Jim Costa (D-CA), Henry Cuellar (D-TX), and Daniel Lipinski (D-IL)—released the following statement in response to the Senate passing a GOP budget resolution that waives the Senate PAYGO rule:

“In 2010, the Blue Dog Coalition fought to restore the bipartisan pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) rules to ensure the government does not spend beyond its means. That same year, Congress passed, and President Obama signed into law, the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010, which established a budget enforcement mechanism that requires direct spending and revenue legislation to be deficit neutral. In 2015, a Republican-led Congress eliminated the expiration of Senate PAYGO, affirming the importance of a permanent rule against unpaid-for legislation in the United States Senate.

“For eight years, we heard Republicans sound the alarm on our nation’s fiscal state. They effectively convinced the American people that they would be the party to solve our nation’s looming fiscal crisis. Today, we not only saw Senate Republicans pass a partisan, costly budget resolution; we also witnessed Senate Republicans bypass their own deficit-neutrality rule. Now that Republicans are in power, those alarms on fiscal discipline are silent at a time when our national debt has reached an unprecedented amount.

“The Senate Republican budget resolution bypasses the Senate PAYGO rule and will serve as a vehicle for tax legislation that could add up to $1.5 trillion to the national deficit. This effectively waived a rule that was created to prevent the intended result – tax legislation that will worsen the deficit. At a time when our national debt has surpassed $20 trillion for the first time in U.S. history, Americans can’t afford for Senate Republicans to waive their own rules for political gain.

“Earlier this month, when we announced the Blue Dog Vision for Tax Reform, we called on congressional Republicans to stop pursuing reconciliation, and instead look to a truly bipartisan effort to develop fiscally-responsible tax reform. The American people are counting on Republicans and Democrats to come together to develop real, balanced solutions. Our children and grandchildren are counting on us to get our nation’s fiscal house in order and put our country on the path to economic prosperity. The Blue Dogs stand ready to roll up our sleeves, reach across the aisle to get this done, and help give Americans the responsible governance they need and deserve.”