President Obama has been battered in recent weeks by Republicans over the ballooning federal deficit, which this year is already well past the previous record.
So this afternoon he quickly lauded the House vote for so-called pay-as-you-go legislation that would require Congress and the president to offset new tax cuts or new benefit programs with tax increases or spending cuts elsewhere in the budget. If the law is broken, automatic spending cuts would kick in to make up the difference.
“With this vote, the House of Representatives demonstrated strong support for fiscal discipline. I appreciate the House’s quick response to my call for pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) legislation, a central budget-reform priority," Obama said in a statement.
“Let me be clear: all new mandatory initiatives and all new tax cuts must be paid for. It is time to stop the practice of passing today’s costs onto future generations. PAYGO was a driving principle behind the move from deficit to surplus in the 1990s, and must be so again today.
“For several years, the federal government was stalled in a pattern of fiscal irresponsibility. No more. We are making tough decisions on funding priorities. We are tackling the biggest threats to our long-term fiscal stability. And we are restoring greater discipline to how we spend taxpayers’ dollars.
“I thank Speaker Pelosi and Leader Hoyer, Chairman Spratt and Chairman Miller, Representatives Hill, Cooper, Boyd, and Welch, the Blue Dog coalition, and all of the 167 cosponsors of the PAYGO legislation. We will continue to work together to strengthen fiscal discipline. I urge the Senate to approve PAYGO so I can sign this bill into law this year.”
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.