Blue Dogs Call on Leadership to Abide by PAYGO
WASHINGTON—Today, the Blue Dog Coalition sent a letter to House Democratic leadership calling for leadership to abide by the bipartisan Pay-As-You-Go (PAYGO) rule, which requires Congress to pay for new priorities. Specifically, the Coalition requested that leadership only designate items on the Consensus Calendar for consideration under a process that does not waive other House rules, including those that are intended to keep our fiscal house in order.
The letter was signed by all members of Blue Dog Coalition leadership, Reps. Stephanie Murphy (FL-07), Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01), Lou Correa (CA-46), Anthony Brindisi (NY-22), and Kurt Schrader (OR-05). In addition to leadership, the following members signed the letter: Rep. Sanford Bishop (GA-02), Rep. Ed Case (HI-01), Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05), Rep. Jim Costa (CA-16), Rep. Henry Cuellar (TX-28), Rep. Charlie Crist (FL-13), Rep. Joe Cunningham (SC-01), Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15), Rep. Josh Gottheimer (NJ-05), Rep. Kendra Horn (OK-05), Rep. Ben McAdams (UT-04), Rep. Brad Schneider (IL-10), Rep. Abigail Spanberger (VA-07), Rep. Xochitl Torres Small (NM-02), and Rep. Jeff Van Drew (NJ-02).
See below for the full text:
Dear Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Hoyer:
At the beginning of the 116th Congress, the House passed a bipartisan rules package creating a Consensus Calendar to promote the consideration of measures with broad bipartisan support and at least 290 cosponsors. As we begin considering items on the Consensus Calendar, we request that you only designate them for consideration under a process that does not waive other House rules, including those that are intended to keep our fiscal house in order.
A rule created with good intentions should not be used to circumvent other important rules included in the package, such as the Pay-As-You-Go (PAYGO) rule, which requires Congress to pay for new priorities. In summary, PAYGO helps reduce new deficit spending and restore fiscal discipline so that our children and grandchildren are not forced to bear the costs of new laws, such as tax cuts for the wealthy or new federal programs.
Today, the national debt is more than $22 trillion, a level of debt this country has never seen before. That is about $67,000 for every American man, woman, and child. In a few years, we will face $1 trillion annual budget deficits, an amount our country has not seen in modern history outside of times of war or economic recession.
Next year, we will spend more servicing interest on the debt than all federal funding that supports our kids. That means we will soon spend more on our past than we will investing in our future. The least Congress can do is to prevent the problem from getting worse, and PAYGO does just that.
We urge you, in the spirit of the House rules, to only advance legislation that is fully paid for. Now is the time for Democrats to uphold our promise to the American people and stand up for responsible governance, including fiscal responsibility. Our children and grandchildren are counting on us to ensure they will not be burdened by reckless decisions of the past.