Democrats Block Motion to Preserve Budgetary Restraint on Green New Deal, Climate Proposals

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 07: U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) speaks as Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) (R) and other Congressional Democrats listen during a news conference in front of the U.S. Capitol February 7, 2019 in Washington, DC. Sen. Markey and Rep. Ocasio-Cortez held a news conference to unveil their …
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House Democrats blocked a motion Monday that would have preserved a long-standing budgetary restraint on excessive government spending. Democrats eliminated the restraint for climate change proposals such as the Green New Deal.

Rep. Jason Smith (R-MO), the House Budget Committee ranking member, offered a motion to commit on the Democrats’ rules package for the 117th Congress. The motion to commit would strike the Democrats’ provision that creates an exemption for climate-related legislation for the pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) restriction on spending. PAYGO mandates that new spending is either offset by a “payfor” such as tax increases or spending cuts. Democrats blocked the motion.

Former Rep. George Miller (D-CA) first proposed PAYGO in an attempt to make then-President Ronald Reagan look like a hypocrite on government spending.

Eliminating the PAYGO provision serves as a significant victory for progressives, as leftists would have had to find significant savings or tax increases to pay for an expensive climate change program such as the Green New Deal. Some estimates have found that the Green New Deal could cost $93 trillion.

As the Intercept’s Ryan Grim explained:

Clipping the wings of PAYGO doesn’t just pave the way for big-ticket progressive agenda items, but will also be a boon to progressive legislators. Functionally speaking, PAYGO meant that any legislation that spent money needed a “payfor” — some additional piece of legislation that has been analyzed by the Congressional Budget Office and deemed to save X amount of money, equal to or greater than the new spending.

Smith said that Democrats want to strip the PAYGO provision to pass their progressive agenda.

“On only day two of the 117th Congress, House Democrats are already attempting to strip Americans of the transparency they deserve in order to push through an expensive progressive wish-list,” Smith said, adding:

It includes a budgetary exemption for ‘measures to prevent, prepare for, or respond to economic, environmental, or public health consequences resulting from climate change.’ This exemption is irresponsible since arguably it could apply to any radical, progressive, out-of-touch legislation dreamed up next by House Democrats.

“This exemption was designed as a mechanism to ram through socialist policies like the Green New Deal and other ideas aimed at hurting American workers, families, and farmers,” Smith said.

Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.

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