The new House of Representatives Rules Package passed by the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives earlier this month contains an arcane yet powerful rule commonly known as the PAYGO rule.
Put in simple terms, PAYGO stipulates that the House of Representatives cannot increase spending in one field without offsetting this spending with increased revenue or budget cuts. While the rule certainly seems sensible enough, it has widened the Democrat party rift between veteran Democrat politicians who don’t want to rock the boat too much and far-left progressive newcomers who are furious that they will find it difficult to pass their own radical agenda through.
Newly elected House Representative and progressive darling Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez came out strongly against the vote for the PAYGO rule. She described it as a dark political maneuver designed to hamper progress on healthcare. She wasn’t the only one who was incensed by the new rule. Rep. Ro Khanna recently stated that having to ensure that new spending is offset by spending cuts or increased revenue is terrible economics. He also said that it would hamper the new Democrat majority’s ability to govern. Rep. Tim Ryan asserted that critical investments in education infrastructure and healthcare would be held hostage to budgetary constraints without noting the fact that infrastructure and educational investments would not be subject to PAYGO in the first place.
It is worth noting that progressive new members of the House of Representatives aren’t the only ones who are pushing for radical ideas such as universal healthcare, free public college education, a Federal jobs guarantee and massive government investment in renewable energy.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Cory Booker and half a dozen potential Democrat presidential candidates have all jumped on the Green New Deal bandwagon in an effort to appeal to progressive voters. While these individuals haven’t commented on the new PAYGO rule, they would certainly be hard-pressed to explain how they could support both the rule and the implementation of budget-busting government programs that would ostensibly pay for themselves at some point in the distant future.
It would seem that the idea of implementing the PAYGO rule is to appeal to moderate Democrat voters who played a key role in helping the party regain a majority in the House. These voters aren’t interested in far-left policies, and may very well vote for Republican candidates in 2020 if the newly elected Democrat representatives show themselves to be too radical.
At the same time, it is also a political ruse as the House of Representatives can vote to bypass the PAYGO rule at any time it chooses as long as a majority of representatives are in agreement with the idea. In fact. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has already promised progressive lawmakers that she would not allow the newly implemented PAYGO rule to interfere with the passage of progressive bills. Her verbal commitment to waive PAYGO when convenient enabled her to get some progressive Democrat lawmakers on her side; however, not all of them are on board with the move.
The PAYGO showdown shows that the Democratic Party is still divided. Leaders want to be viewed as fiscally responsible, and radicals want something to show to their rapid base. It is a delicate act that is likely to blow up in the party’s face as.
~ Patriotic Freedom Fighter