CBS19: Spanberger, others call for committee leaders to prioritize fiscal responsibility


Several freshmen members of the U.S. House of Representatives are calling on leadership to recommit to the principle of fiscal responsibility.

In a letter, the freshmen members, including Abigail Spanberger, also call on House Committee Chairs to abide by the Congressional Pay-As-You-Go budget rules.

According to a release, these budget rules make sure any legislation that might increase the federal deficit is offset.

The letter urges committee chairs to make sure each committee’s legislation is funded through pay-fors.

It also asks for legislation to wait to advance out of committee until the Congressional Budget Office can properly review and release a proposed cost estimate of the legislation.

“In Central Virginia, I’ve heard continued concerns about our national debt and deficits, especially as the interest on our debt becomes the fastest-growing part of the federal budget,” said Spanberger. “To help address this massive fiscal challenge, the House must act responsibly, because our children and grandchildren are at risk of taking on the burden of additional, exorbitant debt.”

She adds she is proud to stand with other freshman members of Congress to ask committee leaders to follow the PAYGO rules that were re-established at the beginning of the new Congress, calling national debt a threat to national security and the economic strength of the United States.

To read the full letter, scroll down:

Dear Committee Chairs –

Thank you for your leadership in the 116th Congress. Our nation faces many challenges, and your committees are the place for thoughtful policy discussions and legislative solutions to overcome these challenges.

We are new to Washington and represent constituents who sent us to Congress to bring a fresh perspective to governing and to ensure that the voices of all Americans are considered during the legislative process. Many of our constituents have expressed genuine concern about our growing national debt and deficits, and we believe that fiscal responsibility should be a shared goal of the Democratic majority.

At the beginning of the 116th Congress, Speaker Pelosi and Democratic leadership agreed to a number of rules changes that would help make the legislative process more transparent and consensus-driven. One of those rules was the reinstitution of Congressional Pay-As-You-Go (PAYGO) budget rules. Unfortunately, for much of the first eight months of the 116th Congress, we feel that PAYGO principles have not been followed throughout the legislative process, particularly as legislation is being considered at the committee level.

PAYGO represents a critical step toward putting our nation on track for a fiscally sustainable future. Despite PAYGO being in the House Rules, legislation has frequently moved through the committee process before the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has time to properly review and score legislation. Since there is limited time for a CBO study, members do not have enough time to properly consider the potential costs and pay-fors of the legislation before casting votes. We understand that legislation referred to multiple committees of jurisdiction can present challenges for committee chairs to identify appropriate offsets or offsets in that respective committee’s jurisdiction in advance of floor consideration. In these instances, we encourage the respective committee chairs to work collaboratively and to communicate throughout the legislative process regarding intentions for offsets. Developing ways to fund our shared policy priorities is an important step in the process that should be done in an open and transparent manner.

We urge you to work with us to ensure that each committee’s legislation is funded with responsible pay-fors that are considered early in the legislative process. We also ask that legislation is not advanced out of committees until it has received a CBO score.

Thank you for your consideration of these important requests, and we look forward to working with you to advance our shared priorities this Congress.



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