Baca Votes to Approve Statutory PAYGO Legislation
Bill Helps to Restore Fiscal Responsibility, Budget Discipline to Washington
Today, Congressman Joe Baca joined a bipartisan majority in the House of Representatives in passing legislation that restores pay-as-you go budget discipline, which requires Congress to offset all new policies that reduce revenues or expand entitlement spending over five and ten years. H.R. 2920, the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2009, passed the House of Representatives with a 265 - 166 vote.
"After the soaring deficits and national debt of the past 8 years under the Bush Administration, it is long past time Washington move to put its fiscal house in order," said Rep. Baca. "Statutory PAYGO will help Congress return to the simple idea that you don't spend money you don't have. Today's bill is an important step in restoring fiscal discipline, forcing the necessary tough choices on taxes and spending, and bringing down the deep deficits that face our nation."
H.R. 2920 requires Congress to offset the costs of tax cuts or increases in entitlement spending with savings elsewhere in the budget. If the net effect of all legislation enacted during a session of Congress increased the deficit, there would be an across-the-board reduction in certain mandatory programs. The proposal is realistic and enforceable, allowing Congress to maintain a few key widely supported bipartisan current policies without offsets - Medicare physician payments, Alternative Minimum Tax, middle-class tax cuts, and the current estate tax rate.
President Obama and Congressional Democrats have demonstrated a strong commitment to fiscal responsibility. Already this year, Congress passed a budget, supported by the President, that cuts the deficit by two-thirds in four years. The House has also passed the Clean Energy bill, which is fully paid for; and is working to pass a fully paid for health care reform bill - the single most important thing we can do to bring down long-term deficits.
"Reducing our deficit and working to decrease our bloated national debt are imperative to the long-term economic and national security of our nation," concluded Rep. Baca. "As a fiscally conservative, Blue Dog Democrat, I applaud the President for his leadership on this issue and Congress for taking the necessary action to reduce further spending. Just as families in the Inland Empire must balance their budgets and live within their means - so must our government. By restoring Statutory PAYGO as the law of the land, Congress is taking a critical first step to ending too many years of fiscal insanity."