House Passes Pay-As-You-Go (PayGo) legislation

The House of Representatives voted on Feb. 4 to restore a “common sense” spending law that helped eliminate budget deficits in the 1990s.

The Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010 (H.J. Res. 45) requires both the House of Representatives and the Senate to pay for new spending with either a new source of revenue or a corresponding cut in another program.

“If you spend more money on one thing, you have to spend less on another; this is the same fiscal discipline that every family practices around their kitchen tables when they pay their bills each month,” said Congressman Jim Oberstar in a written news release.

In 1990, the bipartisan pay-as-you-go law was enacted by a Democratic Congress and a Republican President. In the decade that followed, this budget law helped turn a deficit of $600 billion in 1992 into a surplus of $237 billion in 2000, Oberstar’s press office notes in a written statement.

“In the House, Democrats revived the pay-as-you-go rule as soon as we regained the majority in 2007 and I am happy to see that the Senate has decided to follow suit,” Oberstar said in press release. “The passage of this legislation by both houses Congress means that fiscal discipline will be a statutory requirement.”