CHN: House Passes Budgetary Rules Changes

Now in the majority in the House of Representatives, Democrats passed a package of reforms that change how the chamber operates, including some changes the relate to the budget process. One change includes the automatic raising of the debt ceiling, or the nation’s borrowing limit, through the fiscal year once the House passes a budget. This removes the need for the House to have a separate vote to raise the debt ceiling. The package (H.Res. 6) also replaces the Republicans “Cut-As-You-Go” (CUTGO) rule, which required spending increases to be offset with an equal or greater cut in spending (but not offset by revenue increases), with a “Pay-As-You-Go” (PAYGO) rule, where spending increases and tax cuts must be offset with either an equal decrease in spending or an increase in revenue (such as raising taxes). A third change would curtail the use of “dynamic scoring,” a highly uncertain and controversial way of estimating the budgetary effects of proposed legislation. Republicans previously used dynamic scoring to say their tax cuts package would cause enough economic growth to pay for themselves by resulting in some revenue increases down the road.

Aside from the budget process, the rules changes also include the creation of a committee to address climate change, the requirement of annual ethics training for al lawmakers, and a mandated 72 hour minimum between when major legislation is released and when it can be voted on by the full House to allow representatives time to read it.