Mar 30, 2004
Hoyer on defeat of “Pay-Go”
Very few have probably been following the House and Senate budget debates all that closely, but it has been interesting. The Senate gave the administration a big punch in the face by including “Pay-Go” provisions that demand that any new tax cuts must be accompanied by equal cuts in spending- essentially forcing the administration to name exactly which programs it will cut in order to shower more money on the top 1%. House Dems voted in unison to include this in the budget, but the GOP narrowly managed to shoot it down. Today the Dems forced another independent vote on the measure- this is Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer’s statement on it:
“Last year, House Republicans repudiated their own budget a mere 96 hours after they adopted it, approving a Democratic Motion to reinstate cuts to education, veterans and health care that were called for in the Republican budget. And they almost did the same thing this year.
“Today, after holding a five-minute vote open for 28 minutes, Republicans ‘defeated’ a Democratic Motion to Instruct conferees on the budget to adopt the Senate’s bipartisan pay-as-you-go rules, requiring both spending increases and tax cuts to be offset elsewhere in the budget. Republican leaders in the House have demanded that such rules apply to spending only.
“A unanimous Democratic Caucus was joined by 11 Republicans in voting for this Democratic Motion. Four other Republican Members cast ‘yes’ votes before Republican leaders, trying to stave off an embarrassing defeat, twisted their arms and convinced them to change their votes.
“With this vote today, Republicans confirmed that they have neither the will nor the courage to make tough budget choices, as they shamelessly pretend that tax cuts have no impact on the exploding budget deficit that their failed policies have created. Clearly, the Republican Party - which in three short years has turned record budget surpluses into a record deficit of half a trillion dollars this year and deficits as far as the eye can see - needs a remedial lesson in mathematics.
“Pay-as-you-go rules do not preclude tax cuts; they simply require us to pay for them. But House Republicans refused. Instead, they adopted a budget for Fiscal 2005 that would increase our budget deficits, mortgaging our future and forcing our children and grandchildren to pay this generation’s bills. That is not only irresponsible, it is immoral.”