"It's a simple rule: "Don't spend what you don't have," said Congressman Salazar. "It's a rule that rural Coloradoans have to live with and one I've been fighting for in Washington for years."
The PAYGO law was originally put in place in the 1990's with bi-partisan support and was a key component to the budget surplus created in that decade. It was then repealed by the Bush Administration and was allowed to expire in 2002. Having passed in the Senate last week and in the House of Representatives today, the PAYGO bill now goes to the President's desk for his signature.
"I have been fighting with my fellow Blue Dogs to return this policy to Congress and I'm glad we got it through," said Congressman Salazar. "This helped balance the budget in the "90's and it's disappointing that today Republicans would vote against responsible budgeting just to keep from helping our country get out of debt. It doesn't matter what party you're from, you should want our nation to be successful and to live within our means."
PAYGO's Role in Deficit Reduction
In the 1990s, the Clinton Administration with the support of a Republican majority in Congress enacted the PAYGO rule which forced Congress to find savings for the dollars it spent. But the decision of President Bush and congressional Republicans to waive PAYGO and ultimately allow it to expire in 2002 cleared the way for policies that wiped out those surpluses, including huge tax cuts for the most privileged-- that will be paid for, with interest, by the next generation.
Deficit spending is not sustainable for the long term, and Congressman Salazar is committed to bringing the deficit down. An essential step toward that goal is the reassertion of the principle of paying for what we buy. That is why Congressman Salazar, in 2007, fought to make PAYGO a part of House rules. Now, with today's vote comes the opportunity to strengthen PAYGO by giving it the force of law.
PAYGO: Making the Tough Choices for America's Future
This law requires tough choices: the cost of any spending increase or tax cut has to be paid for, rather than pushed onto future generations. Those who want to cut taxes will have to identify what spending we will have to do without because of that lost revenue. Likewise, PAYGO will control spending, because any increase in spending will have to be offset by spending decreases elsewhere.