From the Congressional Glossary – Including Legislative and Budget Terms
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A budgetary enforcement mechanism, a process by which direct spending increases or revenue decreases must be offset so that the deficit is not increased or the surplus reduced. A statutory PAYGO requirement was in effect from 1991 through 2002; the House and Senate each have their own PAYGO rules.
Originally set forth in the Budget Enforcement Act (BEA), which effectively expired at the end of fiscal year 2002. Under this mechanism, proposed changes in, or new permanent, law were expected to be deficit neutral in the aggregate in the fiscal year of enactment or in a period of years. PAYGO was intended to control growth in direct spending and tax legislation.
The Senate, in the concurrent resolution on the budget, has established an internal rule enforcing a requirement that direct spending or receipts legislation under consideration in the Senate be deficit neutral over certain periods of time. This Senate PAYGO rule is enforced by points of order. (See also Point of Order; Sequestration.)
The Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010 (PAYGO) is part of Public Law 111-139, H.J.Res 45, enacted on February 12, 2010. Briefly, the Act requires that all new legislation changing taxes, fees, or mandatory expenditures, taken together, must not increase projected deficits. This requirement is enforced by the threat of automatic across-the-board cuts in selected mandatory programs in the event that legislation taken as a whole does not meet the PAYGO standard established by the law. PAYGO also established special scorecards and scorekeeping rules. “The Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010: A Description,” from OMB (2010).
- Chapter 7.F. PAYGO; in Congressional Procedure
- Senate Budget Committee
- House Committee on the Budget
- PAYGO – Wikipedia
- “Budget Enforcement Procedures: Senate Pay-As-You-Go (PAYGO) Rule,” CRS Report RL31943 (28-page PDF)
- “The House’s “Pay-As-You-Go” (PAYGO) Rule in the 110th Congress: A Brief Overview,” CRS Report RL33850 (13-page PDF)
- 1985 Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act – Slaying the Dragon of Debt, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley
- Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Balanced Budget Act – Wikipedia
- Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985, Bill Summary – Congress.gov
Lawmakers Should Enforce PAYGO Budget-Neutral Rules
- “Rewriting the Fiscal Constitution: The Case of Gramm-Rudman-Hollings,” by Kate Stith (1988), Yale Law Faculty Scholarship Series. Paper 1266.
- “Seven Reforms to Balance the Budget,” by Stephen Moore, Cato Policy Report, July/August 1996
- “Sequestration: Gramm-Rudman’s Potent Weapon for Spending Restraint,” by Daniel J. Mitchell, Cato Policy Analysis no. 119, April 24, 1989
- “Congressional Oversight of Judges and Justices,” CRS Report RL32926 (39-page PDF)
- “Federal Budget Process Reform in the 111th Congress,” CRS Report R40113 (21-page PDF)
- “The Magnitude of Changes That Would Be Required to Balance the FY2011,” CRS Report RS21939 (10-page PDF)
- “The Balanced Budget Act of 1997: Retirement and Health Insurance Provisions for Postal and Federal Personnel,” CRS Report 97-635 (12-page PDF)
- “Baselines and Scorekeeping in the Federal Budget Process,” CRS Report 98-560 (6-page PDF)
- Congressional Operations Briefing – Capitol Hill Workshop
- Drafting Federal Legislation and Amendments
- Writing for Government and Business: Critical Thinking and Writing
- Custom, On-Site Training
- Congressional Operations Poster, with Federal Budget Process Flowchart
- Federal Budgeting, a Five-Course series on CD
- Congress, the Legislative Process, and the Fundamentals of Lawmaking Series, a Nine-Course series on CD
The Federal Budget Process 2E
Citizen’s Handbook to Influencing Elected Officials: A Guide for Citizen Lobbyists and Grassroots Advocates
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