PAYGO

Freshman Democrats to chairs: Follow PAYGO, get CBO scores before markups
Letter led by Rep. Sharice Davids asks House committee chairs to ensure legislation does not add to deficit

Kansas Rep. Sharice Davids and nine other House Democratic freshmen want committee chairs to adhere to PAYGO rules and offset legislation that would increase the deficit. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Ten moderate Democratic freshmen are sending a letter Wednesday to House committee chairs asking that their panels better adhere to the chamber’s rule for offsetting legislation that would add to the deficit. 

Back in the majority for the first time in eight years, Democrats kicked off the 116th Congress by reinstating a pay-as-you-go, or PAYGO, provision in House rules. Under the provision, legislation that would increase the deficit must be offset by spending cuts or revenue increases.

House adopts rules package with few Democratic defections over PAYGO provision
Package establishes two select committees, requires committee action before floor votes, among other changes

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., swears in members in the House chamber on the first day of the 116th Congress on Jan. 3, 2019. Later that afternoon the House adopted its rules package for new Congress. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The House on Thursday adopted the bulk of a rules package for the 116th Congress that featured dozens of changes designed to restore more committee and bipartisan involvement in the legislative process, increase transparency and clamp down on ethics violations. 

The measure, adopted 234 to 197, was crafted by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Rules Chairman Jim McGovern, D-Mass., with input from members across all factions of the House Democratic majority.

Opposition to Pay-As-You-Go Proposal Prevents Unity on House Democrats’ Rules Package
Other changes designed to open up the legislative process have broad support

Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., said he will oppose House Democrats’ rules package for the 116th Congress because of a provision known as pay-as-you-go or PAYGO that requires offsets for deficit increasing legislation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Democrats’ rules for the 116th Congress contain a wide array of consensus changes, but a pay-as-you-go provision that would require offsets for deficit-increasing legislation is preventing party unity on the package. 

At least two progressive members, California Rep. Ro Khanna and New York Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, said they will oppose the rules package because of the provision.