Congressman Marsha Blackburn (TN-7) today voted against Democrat sponsored "PAYGO" legislation. The pay-as-you-go, or PAYGO, bill purports to promote fiscal responsibility by curbing deficit spending. PAYGO requires every new spending program to be accompanied by concurrent tax increases or spending cuts to account for the new spending. In reality the PAYGO legislation is full of loopholes and excludes 40 percent of the federal budget. In the 1990's PAYGO rules led to the largest tax increase in American history.
Congressional Democrats are right to be concerned about fiscal responsibility. With a federal deficit that could top $2 trillion this year and a recession that has destroyed 6.5 million jobs, Americans are convinced that we cannot borrow and spend our way back to economic health.
"I am a strong supporter of spending cuts and restraining the growth of the federal government," Blackburn said. "That is why I have consistently proposed 5% across the board spending cuts on the appropriations bills that have come to the floor this year. Many of my Democrat colleagues have supported those amendments. I will continue to advocate for real spending cuts as the means to bring our deficits in line."
Blackburn supported an alternative proposal that places real caps on federal deficits and requires across-the-board spending cuts when the federal budget grows faster than the economy.
During debate, Blackburn took to the floor to speak about one of the most galling loopholes in PAYGO legislation. While emergency spending is rightly outside PAYGO jurisdiction, such emergency bills should not be open to non-germane pet projects and pork. Too often Washington takes advantage of the real and acute suffering of the American people to quickly pass non-emergency spending.