Congressman John Barrow (GA-12) today applauded the Senate for passing pay-as-you-go budget rules, or PAYGO. PAYGO, passed by the House on July 22, 2009, formally establishes the principle that our country should pay for what it spends with offsets elsewhere in the budget.
"When Georgia families are facing tough times and have to get their financial house in order, they make a budget, and they stick to it," said Barrow. "They expect their government to do the same. The PAYGO rules, now passed by the House and the Senate, will help get our country back on the path of financial stability that we were on in the 1990's. We're not there yet, but this is a big step in the right direction."
The PAYGO bill that passed the Senate today is similar to the statutory PAYGO law in place in the 1990's, when the United States turned massive deficits into record budget surpluses. Congress allowed these rules to expire in 2002. Since then a projected surplus of $5.6 trillion turned into projected deficits of more than $11 trillion. The PAYGO rules, which have had broad bipartisan support in Congress and the Obama administration, require Congress to pay for the costs of tax cuts or increases in entitlement spending with cuts elsewhere in the budget. Reinstating PAYGO rules has been a top priority of the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Coalition, of which Congressman Barrow is a member.
"Last July, the House passed PAYGO rules with the Blue Dogs leading the way," said Barrow. "Since then, we've been waiting on the Senate to do the same. I applaud them for helping put us back on the path of fiscal responsibility by passing PAYGO. If America's going to climb out of this recession, our government has to live within its means."