Rep. Wasserman Schultz Votes to Restore Fiscal Discipline (PAYGO)

(Washington, DC) – Rep. Wasserman Schultz took a critical step today toward restoring our nation’s fiscal health by voting in favor of pay-as-you-go, or PAYGO, legislation (H J RES 45). This bill ensures that all new spending is deficit-neutral.

PAYGO helped to take the United States from deficits to surpluses in the 1990s, and will do so again. It makes mandatory that Congress pay for all tax cuts and new or increased entitlement programs with savings elsewhere in the budget. The PAYGO legislation now goes to President Obama for his signature.

“The Bush administration left us with enormous deficits. We are now passing the necessary legislation to get our economy back on track and restore a sense of fiscal responsibility,” said Rep. Wasserman Schultz. “To rebuild our economy substantially and for the long-term, House Democrats know that jobs and deficit reduction need to be a top priority. We increased jobs and reduced the deficit under President Clinton, and I know we can do it again under President Obama.”

The PAYGO bill is based upon the bipartisan PAYGO law that was in place in the 1990s and helped turn massive deficits into record surpluses. President Bush and the Republican-controlled Congress allowed this law to expire in 2002, which contributed to the dramatic turnaround from a projected surplus of $5.6 trillion to projected deficits of more than $11 trillion.

Since then, House Democrats have been leading the fight to restore fiscal responsibility, adding PAYGO to House rules upon regaining the majority in 2007.

Now, working with the Senate, PAYGO will have the force of law again, helping to protect against reckless, debt-financed tax cuts, while ensuring Congress has room to make investments in critical areas like job creation, education and health care. 

“As we put our nation back on the right financial track, I hope we can find bipartisan support,” said Rep. Wasserman Schultz, who was disappointed by the fact that not one Republican voted in favor of the legislation.

PAYGO has enjoyed support from Democrats and Republicans alike in the past. It was first enacted by a Republican President and Democratic Congress in 1990, extended by a Democratic President and Republican Congress in 1998, and won 24 Republican votes when the House passed it last July.