September 15, 2021

As Reckless Spending by Democrats Threatens Medicare, Smith Calls on Biden Administration to Be Transparent and Follow the Law

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, House Budget Committee Republican Leader Jason Smith (MO-08)  highlighted the Biden Administration’s failure to follow the law and transparently account for pending cuts to government programs and services as a result of legislation enacted and proposed by Washington Democrats so far this year.

Specifically, Smith called out the fact that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under President Biden has failed thus far to transparently account for all their spending as required by U.S. law. The Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010 (Statutory PAYGO) requires OMB to make public and continuously update scorecards that provide important information to Congress and the public indicating whether automatic cuts to mandatory programs, such as Medicare, will occur at the end of a session of Congress. Such cuts are the consequence of unpaid spending legislation that has been enacted. Since entering the White House on January 20th, President Biden and his Administration have failed to publish a single scorecard reflecting any spending that has occurred since the start of his administration.

“The Biden Administration and Congressional Democrats continue to claim that trillions in reckless partisan spending will not have a negative impact on the American people, while at the same time refusing to follow the law and disclose how their spending will trigger cuts to critical government programs and services millions of Americans rely on, including millions of seniors,” said House Budget Committee Republican Leader Smith. “America is confronting multiple crises created by this Administration, whether it’s the humanitarian and national security crisis at the border, the rampant inflation crisis sweeping our nation, or the crisis of leadership in the Oval Office. The American people deserve a full accounting of the impact of new spending Democrats have enacted will have before they try to ram through another $3.5 trillion in reckless spending and tax increases.”

“Public Law 117-2, enacted on March 11, 2021, included budgetary effects that would cause balances on the PAYGO scorecards of approximately $1.9 trillion. This law alone triggers cuts to the Medicare program amounting to more than $500 billion over the next 10 years, including $36 billion next year. However, since the Biden Administration has failed to follow the law and publish PAYGO scorecards, Congress does not have an explicit accounting of the total magnitude of government spending additions made by Congressional Democrats and the White House,” Smith wrote in a letter to OMB.

Smith’s letter also recognizes that the Biden Administration’s failure to follow the Statutory PAYGO, a law born out of a previous debt limit debate,  undermines confidence in the ability of the White House and Congress to engage in meaningful debate around government spending and waste, or address the nation’s debt limit.

“This is a timely concern given that the current debt limit suspension expired on July 31, 2021, and the Department of Treasury is currently relying on extraordinary measures to cover the federal government’s expenses. Congressional Democrats have thus far failed to address the expired debt limit or propose any meaningful solution to doing so other than prioritizing a new $3.5 trillion spending plan, which demonstrates to the American people that Congress does not believe it should have to abide by its own rules or enact fiscal reforms to stay within the federal government’s budget,” Smith wrote.

In the letter, Smith calls on OMB to immediately release updated PAYGO scorecards to the American public and Congress, noting that the automatic cuts triggered by sequestration will only grow worse as the Biden Administration and Congressional Democrats move ahead with trillions in new spending.

Read the letter to OMB here.