According to the Washington Post the only speed bump left in the Senate-House budget reconciliation process is Blue Dog insistence that pay-as-you-go budget rules (PAYGO), that supposedly would prohibit new initiatives that increase the annual budget deficit, be enshrined in federal law.
We appreciate the Blue Dogs desire to rein in federal spending. After all, they did cave in and vote for President Obama’s $787 billion economic stimulus and a $410 Omnibus spending bill, but as Heritage fellow Brian Riedl details, PAYGO rules are no substitute for saying ‘No’ to spending when it really counts:
PAYGO has proven to be more of a talking point than an actual tool for budget discipline. During the 1991-2002 round of statutory PAYGO, Congress and the President still added more than $700 billion to the budget deficit and simply cancelled every single sequestration. Since the 2007 creation of the PAYGO rule, Congress has waived it numerous times and added $600 billion to the deficit.
Creating a PAYGO law and then blocking its enforcement is inconsistent and hypocritical. And given their recent waiving of PAYGO to pass a $1.1 trillion stimulus bill, there is no reason to believe the current Congress and the President are any more likely to enforce PAYGO than their predecessors were.