December 26, 2018

THE LEFT VS THE REPUBLICAN LEADER OF THE HOUSE:

The Left Is Taking Aim at Pelosi's Deficit Obsession: The Democratic leader wants to resurrect a House rule that will hinder progressive legislation. (DAVID DAYEN, December 26, 2018, New Republic)

Earlier this year, amid "internal divisions" in the party, Pelosi signaled her intention to put pay-go into the rules package. "Democrats are committed to pay-as-you-go," her spokesman, Drew Hammill, said in June. Former Progressive Caucus chair Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) responded by calling pay-go "an absurd idea," saying it's "irresponsible to try to tie up Congress's ability to respond to economic downturns or, in the current discussion, to slash programs."

Pelosi has defended and expanded pay-go for over a decade. She first instituted it as a standing rule the day she received the speaker's gavel in 2007, and was a driving force in passing the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act in 2010, signed by Barack Obama. That law puts the burden on the president to enforce across-the-board cuts if Congress violates pay-go. The prospect of any president implementing an unpopular hatchet job like that is remote. So the House rule looms large in this fight by constraining new spending at its source.

Obviously, Pelosi and her allies on pay-go consider the rule good politics, allowing them to rebut charges about "tax and spend" liberals by insisting that every new program is fully paid for. If anybody actually cared about the deficit, instead of habitually using it as a weapon to rein in the opposition party, maybe that logic would be compelling. 

Posted by at December 26, 2018 8:02 AM

  

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