House Democrats blocked a Republican attempt on Monday to require any proposed climate change legislation to also include its projected cost.
Under the Pay As You Go rule, any government spending proposal must be accompanied by tax increases or separate cuts.
After a push from several lawmakers in the Democratic Party’s progressive wing, however, the rules package for the 117th Congress states that PAYGO will not apply to legislation relating to economic recovery or U.S. efforts to combat climate change.
Republicans led by Budget Committee ranking member Jason Smith motioned to pull the exemption from climate change legislation, but their attempt was ultimately blocked by Democrats.
Speaking on the floor before the vote, Smith accused Democrats of “attempting to strip Americans of the transparency that they deserve in order to push through an expensive progressive wish list.”
“These rules will continue to let Democrats shirk their duty to write and pass a budget,” Smith added.
“The people deserve … a transparent budget to know how House Democrats plan to spend their hard-earned tax dollars and how Democrats want to increase their taxes.”
.@RepJasonSmith warning on the Democrats’ “PAYGO” exemption for climate issues:
“This exemption was designed as a mechanism to ram through socialist policies like the Green New Deal and other ideas aimed at hurting American workers, families, and farmers.” pic.twitter.com/9FciGzgMln
— Mark Bednar (@MarkBednar) January 4, 2021
With the exemption for climate change legislation, sweeping proposals like the Green New Deal could be introduced without being accompanied by their expected costs.
A 2019 estimate from the American Action Forum found that the plan would cost approximately $93 trillion over the next 10 years.
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