From the inbox:
U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, Vice Chair of the House Budget Committee, issued the following statement today following passage of statutory pay-as-you-go legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives. Pay-go legislation requires that Congress pay for any new tax cuts or entitlement expansions and was responsible for turning record deficits into record surpluses in the 1990s.
“Today House Democrats took a major step toward their goal of balancing the federal budget. Like families and small businesses across the country, Congress must be fiscally responsible and pay for what we spend.
“Our focus in Congress this year is twofold: reduce the deficit and restore our economy. While we have made significant progress to rebuild our economy, more has to be done to put Americans back to work. At the same time, we simply can not continue to run up our national credit card and ignore our deficit. Pay-go legislation is an essential step in the process of restoring fiscal discipline and responsible budgeting.
“In 2002, Republicans allowed pay-go to expire, and turned a budget surplus into a deficit of $1.3 trillion. During that time, annual spending grew 8 percent each year. The Republican-controlled Congress passed the largest expansion of entitlements, fought two wars and gave huge tax cuts to the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans without paying for a dime of it. Collectively, these actions added more than $8 trillion to the deficit and contributed to the current recession Democrats have been working fix.
“Pay-go legislation has proven to be successful and turned record deficits into record surpluses in the 1990s under the Clinton Administration. This measure sets us on a responsible path forward and I am pleased that the House voted today to reinstate this important initiative.”