Following the recent uproar over the passing of PAYGO rules by the House of Representatives' democratic majority, I heard it said that "PAYGO rules" are necessary to waive the effect of the "PAYGO law". Well, I looked that latter up, and found:

The Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010

PAYGO, in the context of this act, means that legislation mandating (federal) government expenditure cannot be passed as law without also passing balancing cuts to spending or increases to revenue. Some kinds of expenditure are exempted (see link for a list) - but this seems to be a fixed list. I see no mention of a clause saying "whatever the House procedural rules choose to waive".

So, my questions are:

  • Why even have "PAYGO rules", if it's mandated by law anyway?
  • Can the effect of the 2010 act be somehow "waived", as some Democrats suggest will be done?
  • If the effect of the act can be "waived", can't it just be always-waived, rendering the act toothless?
  • Doesn't the PAYGO act also apply to legislation which cuts revenues? i.e. doesn't that also need to be balanced by spending cuts or revenue increases elsewhere? Obviously I'm asking this in light of last years' passage of the monumental tax cuts.

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