05 February 2010

They Voted for You: Paygo

U.S. Reps. Alan Mollohan, D-1st, and Nick Rahall, D-3rd, helped the House pass the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act.

Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-2nd, voted against what The Associated Press called "budget rules designed to curb a spiraling upward annual deficit."

All House GOP members presents opposed passage in the 233-187 roll call. It followed the much more narrow vote for the Republican-opposed measure increasing the cap on federal borrowing.

Meant as a companion proposal to that measure, "the new rules - known as "paygo" - would require future spending increases or tax cuts to be paid for with either cuts to other programs or equivalent tax increases," AP reports. "If the rules are broken, the White House budget office would force automatic cuts to programs like Medicare, farm subsidies and unemployment insurance. Current rules lack such teeth and commonly have been waived over the past few years at a cost of about $1 trillion."

But Republicans questioned the strength of the new rules. "Most other benefit programs - including Medicaid, Social Security and food stamps - would be exempt from such cuts," the article said.

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