Spratt Statement on the Spending Control Act

"Today the House will consider H.R. 4663, the Spending Control Act of 2004, and a number of amendments to it.  Democrats support strong and effective budget enforcement rules, but this bill proposes one-sided Pay-As-You-Go (PAYGO) rules that likely would worsen the deficit rather than improve it.  Some of the Republican amendments to be considered also include this flawed PAYGO provision, and furthermore include an entitlement cap proposal that would put important government services at risk.
 
“The Spending Control Act of 2004 puts the cart before the horse.  It comes to the House floor at a time when the Congress has not approved a budget resolution conference report.  The conference report passed by the House lacks credibility, providing no plan to bring the budget back to balance and failing even to specify multi-year policy numbers. 
            
“The Republican PAYGO proposal would worsen the deficit, not improve it.  The base Republican bill would actually worsen, rather than improve, the budget deterioration of the last three years because it exempts tax cuts from PAYGO budget enforcement rules - inviting unlimited new tax cuts that would drive the budget even deeper into the red.  Major Republican substitutes propose the same flawed approach.

“The Republican amendments include a damaging entitlement cap.  The Rules Committee has made in order Republican amendments that include an entitlement cap proposal that would place important government services at risk.

“I will offer a Democratic amendment that restores effective budget enforcement rules.  My substitute reestablishes the effective PAYGO rules - for both spending and tax cuts - which helped turn record deficits into record surpluses in the 1990s.  The Rules Committee failed to make in order the substitute offered by Blue Dog Democrats, which also included an effective PAYGO provision - and which the House should have been given the opportunity to vote on.”