Bennet and McCaskill Applaud Passage of PAYGO Amendment

Measure Would Require Congress to Pay for New Spending

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Claire McCaskill (D-MO) today applauded Senate passage of an amendment that would help reduce the national deficit and control Congressional spending. The legislation, known as Pay-As-You-Go (PAYGO), would require Congress to find a way to pay for all new spending measures or tax cuts.

Bennet and McCaskill had introduced similar PAYGO legislation as a stand-alone bill in the summer of 2009. Amidst the consideration of raising the debt limit, the Senate passed an amendment today that would achieve most of the same goals as the McCaskill-Bennet bill.

"In this economy, families across Colorado are tightening their belts and budgets. It's about time the rules that apply to working families applied to Washington as well," said Bennet. "We took a step today to restore some sanity to the budgeting process by enacting pay-as-you-go rules that would ensure Washington begins to live within its means. While I would have preferred a stronger version of PAYGO, it represents a substantial step forward from business as usual."

"American families know that you can't pay for things on a credit card forever - it's about time Congress figured this out too. While this amendment is slightly different from the bill I introduced, it's a good start toward cutting back, but we still have a lot more work to do," McCaskill said.

President Barack Obama announced in his State of the Union address last night his support for putting PAYGO into law, and called on the Senate to take up and pass the legislation. The House passed PAYGO in July of 2009.

PAYGO policies similar to those enacted today were in place during the 1990s and helped create the budget surpluses from 1998-2001. Unfortunately, that law was allowed to expire in 2002.