Brown deems Democrat "PAYGO" bill a ploy and demands real fiscal responsibility (Rep. Henry Brown)

Yesterday, in an attempt to shield themselves from the criticisms of their massive spending bills, House Democrats forced passage of their version of a “pay-as-you-go” budgeting system for the US Government.

My Republican colleagues and I have called for the Democrats in Congress to show fiscal restraint, and as the deficit reached $1 trillion earlier this year, this effort seemed to be just the thing to create fiscal restraint in Washington.



In reality, this legislation has nothing to do with fiscal responsibility and is riddled with so many loopholes, any legislation, from health care reform to a second “stimulus bill” can be deemed exempt from pay-go to enable its passage.

The stipulations in this legislation allow spending to continue to grow by excluding all discretionary spending, 40 percent of the federal budget, from pay-go requirements.

According to CBO, because of these exemptions, the Democrat’s pay-go bill, would fail to create enough cuts in spending to make up for the costs of the recent massive spending, and could actually cause even higher deficits:

“…if the system envisioned in H.R. 2920 was used in place of the current Congressional rules or a more stringent statutory PAYGO system, the legislation’s enactment could lead to larger future deficits.” – CBO analysis, 7/14/09

I was proud to support yet another sensible Republican alternative, one that would have actually addressed the already outrageous spending  by  implementing real caps on discretionary spending for the next five years, established new limits on all spending, including mandatory and discretionary spending, and set a cap on annual deficits.  These solutions helped bring our deficit under control in the past, and they should be part of any deficit reduction solution today.

Unfortunately, Republican alternatives were ignored yet again, and another Democrat bill was forced through Congress with little chance of becoming law.