Friday, January 07, 2011

The new rules of the House 

Big Four accounting firm Deloitte has prepared an interesting analysis of the new rules of the GOP-controlled House of Representatives, at least as they pertaining to taxing and spending. This seems like the big news:

What House GOP leaders are calling the cut-as-you-go (CUTGO) approach effectively prohibits the House from approving legislation that uses tax increases to pay for new spending priorities. It stands in stark contrast to the previous House payas-you-go (PAYGO) rule, which permitted new tax cuts or mandatory spending increases to be offset by either other tax increases or reductions in mandatory spending. The PAYGO approach is still in place as a Senate rule and was also codified in the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010.

That seems like an improvement, insofar as it presumably caps mandatory spending increases, which -- if I understand it -- should create enormous pressure for entitlement reform.

Then there is this:
The rules package also grants unprecedented budget powers to House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis. Typically, a budget resolution adopted by the entire Congress determines the allocations of budget authority to each chamber’s Appropriations Committee and the various authorizing committees for a particular fiscal year. Under the new rules, however, the House Budget Committee chairman has unilateral authority to submit budget allocations that will be considered an adopted budget resolution for fiscal year 2011 that is enforceable against, most significantly, House completion of fiscal year 2011 appropriations.

It is believed this maneuver may permit House Republicans to move forward on their stated goal of reducing nondefense discretionary spending by $100 billion in fiscal year 2011 without debating a budget resolution and without being required to name specific cuts.

Interesting. While I am all for putting Paul Ryan in charge of pretty much anything, this rule has the "stop-me-before-I-kill-again" of a party that cannot quite trust itself to cut spending by actual legislation.

But read the whole thing. At least if you're a geek.


By Blogger Georgfelis, at Fri Jan 07, 11:50:00 PM:

Considering that the Democratic House has waived PAYGO rules every time they had a bill come in a dime over budget...  

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