ICYMI: Democrats Denounce Harmful Impacts of Cut-Go
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, at an Energy and Commerce Committee markup focused on bills to combat the growing opioid addiction epidemic, Democrats denounced the harmful impacts of cut-go, the House Republican Conference budget rule that requires funding increases be offset by spending cuts. A similar rule does not exist in the Senate. Under the House Republican “cut-as-you-go” rule, spending increases for funding priorities cannot be offset by revenue increases, something that was allowed when Democrats controlled the House under “pay-as-you-go” rules.
Watch Health Subcommittee Ranking Member Gene Green (D-TX) voice his concerns on the dysfunction of cut-go:
“Every one of our constituents demand that we respond to public health challenges as they arise. Why should we continue to handicap our ability to respond to public health crises because of a rigid, inflexible cut-go rule?
Let’s not forget, cut-go isn’t a law. It’s a bureaucratic rule created by our House Republican colleagues. The American people don’t want us to choose one disease over another. They want us to provide the necessary investments to respond to current public health challenges, ensure that we stop epidemics in their tracks, and prevent disease outbreaks from emerging again. We will be lying to ourselves and our constituents if we act as though we can address the opioid epidemic without significant new resources. That’s why my colleague Mr. Lujan offered an amendment yesterday during the markup to provide $1 billion dollars in mandatory new funding to address the opioid epidemic. That is also why we support authorizing the two new grant programs and expanding the authorization of the existing grant today.
Cut-go ties our hands and makes it very difficult for us to robustly support such important programs. It’s clear that the cut-go rules are harmful to us fulfilling our role as an authorizing Committee, and it’s time to eliminate those cut-go rules.”
Watch Committee Member Lois Capps (D-CA) voice her concerns on the dysfunction of cut-go:
"Thank you Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word. Our nation’s opioid crisis has brought to the forefront the importance of investing meaningfully in public health and prevention. But it has also highlighted the artificial barriers that the House majority has imposed that make it almost impossible to address a crisis when it occurs—or prevent one—in the first place. And I’m speaking as well specifically about the so-called cut-go rules. These rules are unsustainable at best. And while they cause great partisan arguments here in our committee, the real impact is felt in communities across the country who at this moment need assistance that never comes. By reducing authorizations for one program to authorize another, we’re not saving the government any money but what we are doing is hampering our ability to respond to a public health crises.
Each of our communities across this country is affected by the opioid epidemic. However, just because the opioid crisis is wreaking havoc, it doesn’t mean that our efforts to address other critical issues like combatting infant mortality, supporting children with health care needs that these are no longer necessary. Similarly, just because the Zika virus is posing a real threat to the well-being of families across the southern portions of our country doesn’t mean that the threat of other infectious diseases—like Ebola—don’t need to be addressed. Swapping the funds of one program to support another is not an approach for success.”