Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego) voted to require Congress to return to fiscal responsibility. Under the debt limit rules, legislation affecting certain spending must not increase the federal budget deficit. These rules are known as pay-as-you-go or PAYGO. They passed the House of Representatives on a vote of 233-187.
"With the current economic state, the American people are making sacrifices and limiting how they spend their money," said Davis. "The federal government should do the same. Passing this legislation will rein in federal spending and bring us back to the budget surpluses of a decade ago."
The PAYGO provisions are credited with helping to bring federal spending under control in the late 1990's. The first PAYGO rules were put in place in 1991 when the annual federal budget deficit was $269 billion. After nearly a decade of PAYGO, the federal budget had a surplus of $236 billion.
In 2002, the PAYGO law was allowed to expire, which Davis opposed. A series of expensive tax cuts and a new prescription drug program followed that were never paid for and increased the federal deficit to $458 billion.