McCaskill and Bennet to introduce bill in Senate

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senators Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) today applauded the House of Representatives for passing legislation that would require greater fiscal restraint in Congress and reduce the national deficit. The legislation, known as Pay-As-You-Go (PAYGO), would require Congress to find a way to pay for all new spending or tax cuts.

"When most families in this country look at their budget, they know they can't add a new expense without facing the reality that they will need to cut back on something else," McCaskill said. "The government has been ignoring fiscal discipline for too long, and we need to start using some common-sense rules to reign ourselves in."

"Our nation's deficit and debt are a burden on Colorado's families and a threat to our long-term prosperity. During the 1990s, the government abided by a simple law that required us to pay for new spending programs and new tax cuts. It was called PAYGO, and it worked. Unfortunately, under the last administration that simple, common sense law was abandoned, and the results speak for themselves," Bennet said. "Coloradans have been forced to tighten their fiscal belts. It's time the government did too."

President Barack Obama announced last month his support for putting PAYGO into law, and called on both the House of Representative and the Senate to take up and pass the legislation (read his speech here). Following the House's success in passing the legislation, McCaskill and Bennet intend to introduce PAYGO legislation in the Senate in the coming days.

In 2007, both the House of Representatives and the Senate adopted PAYGO principles as congressional rules. The PAYGO proposals currently being debated would write much stronger rules into law. The legislation would provide for tougher enforcement mechanisms and make the rules harder to waive. The PAYGO rules under the legislation are similar to the PAYGO rules that were the law during the 1990s. Those rules helped the federal government create budget surpluses. Unfortunately, that law was allowed to expire in 2002.