Progressive Caucus co-chairs to vote for rules package

Reps. Mark PocanMark William PocanThe Hill's Coronavirus Report: DC's Bowser says protesters and nation were 'assaulted' in front of Lafayette Square last month; Brazil's Bolsonaro, noted virus skeptic, tests positive for COVID-19 Steyer endorses Markey in Massachusetts Senate primary Celebrities fundraise for Markey ahead of Massachusetts Senate primary MORE (D-Wis.) and Pramila JayapalPramila JayapalDemocrats fear US already lost COVID-19 battle Progressive lawmakers call for conditions on Israel aid Hillicon Valley: Democrats introduce bill banning federal government use of facial recognition tech | House lawmakers roll out legislation to establish national cyber director | Top federal IT official to step down MORE (D-Wash.), the co-chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus for the 116th Congress, said they will vote for the House Democrats' rules package after two other progressives said they would vote against it due to concerns about a budget-related provision.

The rules package includes a pay-as-you-go provision that would raise a point of order against legislation that increases the deficit. Progressives are concerned that pay-as-you-go rules will make it harder to pass legislation on health care and other topics.

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Rep. Ro KhannaRohit (Ro) KhannaHouse panel votes to limit Trump's Germany withdrawal It's time to eliminate land-based nuclear missiles Stronger patent rights would help promote US technological leadership MORE (D-Calif.) and Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezWhat to watch in New Jersey's primaries on Tuesday Democratic strategist Andrew Feldman says Biden is moving left Hispanic Caucus asks Trump to rescind invitation to Mexican president MORE (D-N.Y.) said they will vote against the rules package because of the budgetary provision.

But Pocan and Jayapal said they plan to vote for the rules package because they've gotten assurances from House Democratic leaders and incoming Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) that the pay-go rule can be waived.

"Chairman McGovern and House Leadership have committed to us that PAYGO will not be an impediment to advancing key progressive priorities in the 116th Congress," Pocan and Jayapal said in a statement Wednesday.

The support for the rules package from Pocan and Jayapal signals the package will likely pass. Eighteen House Democrats would need to vote against the package for it to fail.

The Progressive Caucus co-chairs said they've met with McGovern and leadership multiple times to express concerns with pay-go and that everyone agrees "that the real problem with PAYGO exists in the statute that requires it."

Under federal law, the Office of Management and Budget is required to offset deficit-increasing legislation with across-the-board cuts to mandatory spending programs. Drew Hammill, a spokesman for House Democratic Leader Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiClash looms over next coronavirus relief bill Trump's WHO decision raises bipartisan concerns in House Five takeaways from PPP loan data MORE (D-Calif.), tweeted earlier on Wednesday that voting against the rules package would allow the White House to make spending cuts that reverse Democratic initiatives.

Pocan and Jayapal said they plan to introduce legislation to end the statutory pay-go mechanism.