Ro Khanna and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Oppose House Dem Rules Package Over PAYGO
As House Democrats take the majority today, one of the first pieces of legislation they will vote on is a package of carefully negotiated changes to the rules that determine how the House of Representatives conducts business. But there’s already dissent. Congressman Ro Khanna (D-CA) and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) said they will vote against any guidelines that include a provision known as "PAYGO," or "pay as you go," which requires that new spending be offset by matching cuts or increases in revenue. “It is terrible economics,” Khanna said. "I do not understand why the Democrats don't have the courage of our convictions and make the case that our policies will lead to growth ... PAYGO is to protect members in vulnerable districts who can say that Democrats are for fiscal responsibility. I'm all for raising taxes on the 1% and multinational corporations and stopping our excessive spending on the bad wars. But we should make an economic growth argument in swing districts instead of thinking the '90s playbook of fiscal responsibility will work." Ocasio-Cortez tweeted that PAYGO is “also a dark political maneuver designed to hamstring progress on healthcare+other leg[islation],” she said. “We shouldn’t hinder ourselves from the start.” Progressives fear PAYGO could limit their action on “Medicare-for-all” and other policy priorities. They would need 18 votes from the Democratic Caucus to send the otherwise-popular rules package back to negotiations, and while highly unlikely, the opposition by two high-profile progressives could derail the bill. More here.