Energy and Commerce Committee Upholds Strict Commitment to Fiscal Discipline - No New Spending Authorized Without Offsets to Protect Taxpayers
WASHINGTON, DC – Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) today highlighted his CutGo Principle to restore fiscal discipline to the panel, a rule modeled on the CutGo rules for legislation considered on the floor of the U.S. House of representatives. This visionary policy was ushered in by House Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor and the GOP majority to ensure Congress delivers corresponding reductions to offset any new spending of taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars.
The committee is reiterating the policy to the public and the committee’s ranking member, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), after his inquiries about the majority’s effort to ensure no new spending is authorized without offsets. Upton first announced he would enforce a committee CutGo rule on January 20, 2011 when the Energy and Commerce Committee formally organized and adopted its rules for the 112th Congress. Upton responded to Waxman’s concerns with a letter, the full text of which is available below.
June 21, 2011
The Honorable Henry A. Waxman
Committee on Energy and Commerce
2322A Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
Dear Ranking Member Waxman:
Thank you for your letter dated June 14, 2011, regarding my discretionary CutGo policy.
I am pleased to allay your concerns that this Committee may be recklessly expanding the size of government and increasing federal spending. I assure you that we are not.
The scheduling of markups on the legislation you cite in your letter (H.R. 1938, H.R. 2054, and H.R. 1391) in no way violates my CutGo policies, which I have summarized in the attached document. None of these bills includes an authorization of appropriations. If they did, and those authorizations were not offset, they would not be scheduled for markup.
I believe that none of these bills will have any significant impact on the federal budget. That was the case with an analogous bill, H.R. 2021, the Jobs and Energy Permitting Act of 2011, which the Congressional Budget Office has now scored as having no significant impact on the federal budget. Such legislation does not violate my CutGo policy.
If CBO later determines that any of these bills will have a significant impact on the federal budget, we will offset the newly authorized spending with reductions elsewhere. Again, such legislation does not violate my CutGo policy, or that of the full House.
Again, I appreciate your concern about the effectiveness of my policies in addressing the United States $14 trillion national debt.
Attachment (The Upton Discretionary CutGo Policy)