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Saturday, November 19, 2005

Sen. Coburn supports pay-as-you-go

"While the House spent last week fighting to a draw over its spending reconciliation bill, the Senate passed its version the evening of Nov. 3."

"The bill passed 52-47, after members considered 20 amendments."

"Perhaps most noteworthy, however, was a vote on an amendment that was not adopted to the bill—a pay-as-you-go (PAY-GO) amendment offered by Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND), and cosponsored by Sens. Russ Feingold (D-WI) and Bill Nelson (D-FL). The PAY-GO amendment, a necessary step towards legislative fiscal responsibility, failed to pass by only one vote, with Senator Jon Corzine (D-NJ), a supporter of PAY-GO, absent from voting.

"The PAY-GO vote is significant because Republican Tom Coburn (OK) voted in favor of the amendment, shifting positions from his previous vote on this issue. If Coburn continues to vote with the handful of other fiscally responsible Republicans in the Senate, a PAY-GO amendment stands a strong chance of passing as part of next year's budget resolution.

"Such an amendment would require both new entitlement spending and any additional tax cuts to be fully offset in the budget. The inclusion of a true PAY-GO rule was instrumental in the success of the deficit reduction plan enacted in 1997 and will be crucial in forcing Congress to enact fiscally responsible budgets in the future as well." ...

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