Rep. Salazar touts benefits of PAYGO measure

House passage of pay-as-you-go legislation will help the nation grapple with its debts, U.S. Rep. John Salazar, D-Colo., said.

The so-called PAYGO measure passed the House on Thursday with a 233-187 vote.

It is aimed at curbing budget deficits by requiring spending increases or tax cuts to be paid for with cuts to other programs or tax increases.

“It’s going to force a lot of people to make some tough choices,” Salazar said. “It’s a simple rule: Don’t spend what you don’t have.”

The measure, however, boosted the nation’s debt limit by $1.9 trillion, a provision that Republicans seized on, characterizing it as being the cost of 8 million trips to the moon.

The PAYGO measure represents a victory for the Blue Dog caucus of conservative Democrats who have been battling for the measure for five years, Salazar said.

State Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Cortez, who is vying for the GOP nomination to challenge Salazar, said Salazar’s “actions do not match his words. How naive he must think people in his district are to believe this.”

The Republican Congress had similar provisions that were allowed to lapse in 2002, Salazar said. The provision played a significant role in the 1990s, when the nation had a budget surplus, he said.

The lack of Republican support for the measure was disappointing, Salazar said.

“It doesn’t matter what party you’re from, you should want our nation to be successful and to live within its means,” he said.

The measure, which already passed in the Senate, represents about $6,000 for every U.S. resident, Republicans said.

It also raised the cap on federal borrowing to $14.3 trillion.

The measure now awaits President Obama’s signature.


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