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Blue Dogs Urge House Leadership, Committee Chairs to Abide by PAYGO

November 26, 2019 by Dan McCue
Blue Dog Democrat Rep. Stephanie Murphy.

WASHINGTON – The Blue Dog Coalition is again urging the House leadership and committee chairs to abide by the bipartisan “Pay-As-You-Go (PAYGO) rule, which requires Congress to pay for new priorities.

The letter sent Monday is the second the coalition has addressed to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, and Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., chairman of the House Committee on Rules, about the need to adhere to PAYGO.

In June, the coalition urged leadership to only designate items on the consensus calendar for consideration under a process that does not waive other House rules, including those that are intended to keep our fiscal house in order.

The latest letter focuses more squarely on the national debt, which recently surpassed $23 trillion for the first time in American history, and on the federal deficit, which recently climbed to almost $1 trillion.

“Today, we spend more on interest per day than we spend on our kids,” said the letter, which was signed by the Blue Dog Coalition’s leadership and several of its members. “In other words, the growing national debt is already forcing us to spend more on our past than we invest in our future. That fact alone should be deeply concerning to both parties.”

The coalition noted that the rules package passed in January, and of which PAYGO was a part, was “key to upholding our pledge to the American people that Democrats would stand up for responsible governance, including fiscal responsibility.”

“Because the Republican Party abandoned fiscal discipline last Congress by passing a tax bill that costs trillions of dollars, it is more necessary than ever that we, as Democrats, uphold our pledge to be fiscally responsible,” the letter continued. “However, in the midst of one of the worst fiscal years in U.S. history, we have seen that leadership and the committees of jurisdiction have waived PAYGO several times for the convenience of bringing legislation to the floor.”

The letter was signed by coalition leaders Reps. Stephanie Murphy, of Fla.; Tom O’Halleran, of Ariz.; Lou Correa, of Calif.; Anthony Brindisi, of N.Y., and Kurt Schrader, of Ore.

In addition to coalition leadership, the following members signed the letter: Reps. Ed Case, of Hawaii; Jim Cooper, of Tenn.; Jim Costa, of Calif., Henry Cuellar, of Texas; Joe Cunningham, of S.C.; Josh Gottheimer, of N.J.; Kendra Horn, of Okla.; Dan Lipinski, of Ill.; Ben McAdams, of Utah; Brad Schneider, of Ill.; Abigail Spanberger, of Va.; and Jeff Van Drew, of N.J. 

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