Progressive Caucus co-chairs to vote for rules package

Reps. Mark PocanMark William PocanTrump crosses new line with Omar, Tlaib, Israel move Liberal Democrat eyes aid cuts to Israel after Omar, Tlaib denied entry Democrats give cold shoulder to Warren wealth tax MORE (D-Wis.) and Pramila JayapalPramila JayapalMedicare for all: fears and facts House Democrats urge Trump to end deportations of Iraqis after diabetic man's death 'KamalaCare' fails to address big problem: That we cannot trust insurance companies 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) KhannaKing incites furor with abortion, rape and incest remarks San Jose mayor proposes mandatory liability insurance for gun owners Democrats give cold shoulder to Warren wealth tax MORE (D-Calif.) and Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOmar says US should reconsider aid to Israel Pro-Trump Republican immigrant to challenge Dem lawmaker who flipped Michigan seat 3 real problems Republicans need to address to win in 2020 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 PelosiJohnson eyes Irish border in Brexit negotiations Mueller report fades from political conversation Five key players in Trump's trade battles 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.