The ink is barely dry on the pay-as-you-go law, and Democrats are seeking to bypass it to enact parts of their job-creation agenda.
Democratic leaders said extensions of unemployment insurance and COBRA healthcare benefits should be emergency spending that isn’t subject to the pay-as-you-go statute, which requires new non-discretionary spending to be offset with spending cuts or tax increases.
With current extensions of unemployment and COBRA benefits set to expire at the end of the month and the jobless rate still near 10 percent, Democratic lawmakers want to pass the extensions quickly, without having to find offsets for the costs.
This year, facing record deficits and a debt that has exceeded $12 trillion, Democrats touted the new pay-go requirements as a necessary step to get spending under wraps. President Barack Obama signed the pay-go bill into law on Feb. 12 and Democrats are ready to waive those requirements to help get the economy going.
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