Blue Dogs Urge House Leadership, Committee Chairs to Abide by PAYGO

Nov 25, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON—Today, members of the fiscally-responsible Blue Dog Coalition sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, and Rep. Jim McGovern (MA-02), Chairman of the House Committee on Rules, calling for House leadership and committee chairs to abide by the bipartisan Pay-As-You-Go (PAYGO) rule, which requires Congress to pay for new priorities.


This is the second letter the Coalition has sent to leadership regarding PAYGO this Congress. In June, the Coalition urged leadership to 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.


Today’s 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 Coalition leadership, the following members signed the letter: Rep. Ed Case (HI-01), Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05), Rep. Jim Costa (CA-16), Rep. Henry Cuellar (TX-28), Rep. Joe Cunningham (SC-01), Rep. Josh Gottheimer (NJ-05), Rep. Kendra Horn (OK-05), Rep. Dan Lipinski (IL-03), Rep. Ben McAdams (UT-04), Rep. Brad Schneider (IL-10), Rep. Abigail Spanberger (VA-07), and Rep. Jeff Van Drew (NJ-02).


See below for the full text:


Dear Speaker Pelosi, Leader Hoyer, and Chairman McGovern:


At the beginning of the 116th Congress, the House passed a rules package with broad bipartisan support. That rules package included the Pay-As-You-Go (PAYGO) rule, which requires Congress to pay for new priorities. The rules package was key to upholding our pledge to the American people that Democrats would stand up for responsible governance, including fiscal responsibility.


This year, the national debt surpassed $23 trillion for the first time in American history and our budget deficit reached nearly $1 trillion. Today, we spend more on interest per day than we spend on our kids. In other words, the growing national debt is already forcing us to spend more on our past than we invest in our future. That fact alone should be deeply concerning to both parties. 

Because the Republican Party abandoned fiscal discipline last Congress by passing a tax bill that costs trillions of dollars, it is more necessary than ever that we, as Democrats, uphold our pledge to be fiscally responsible.  


However, in midst of one of the worst fiscal years in U.S. history, we have seen that leadership and the committees of jurisdiction have waived PAYGO several times for the convenience of bringing legislation to the floor. The American people expect Congress to abide by the rules of governance—not circumvent them. 


Last week, our members sent a clear message: The House must abide by PAYGO to prevent our fiscal state from getting worse. 


We urge you to adhere to the rules and only advance legislation that is fully paid for. Our children and grandchildren are counting on us to ensure they will not be burdened by reckless decisions of the past.