January 02, 2023

Smith: 118th Congress House Rules Package Reflects Commitment to Restoring Fiscal Sanity, Accountability in Washington

WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Budget Committee Republican Leader Jason Smith (MO-08) applauded the introduction of a package of budgetary related rules to govern proceedings in the U.S. House of Representatives for the 118th Congress. The House Rules package proposes a number of specific policies to enforce fiscal discipline in Congress while eliminating previous provisions authored by House Democrats which made it easier to rapidly increase spending of taxpayer dollars in the 116th & 117th Congresses.
“The House Rules package, and specifically the new restraints on Congress’ ability to spend, reflects the House Republican commitment to bring fiscal sanity to Washington and hold the Congress accountable for the spending decisions it makes with the dollars American taxpayers earn. This package of responsible policies will impose real limits on spending, particularly mandatory spending, that is driving the nation’s debt crisis. New requirements on inflationary analysis of legislation will give Congress better insight into the consequences of its spending habits – including the spike in prices brought on by reckless spending and policies that kept American workers on the sidelines over the past two years. It will also for the first time ever require lawmakers to take into account the long-term impact of their policy decisions to the federal budget, beyond just the traditional 10-year budget window. Under these rules, from day one, House Republicans will work to turn the page on the fiscal and economic ruin of the past two years of one-party Democrat rule and chart a path for a stronger economy, greater financial security for American families, and a Congress that is responsible and accountable to American taxpayers.”

- House Budget Committee Republican Leader Smith

Policies and actions to enforce fiscal discipline proposed in the House Rules package for the 118th Congress include:
  • Eliminating new long-term spending: Imposes a point of order against any measure which increases mandatory spending by more than $2.5 billion for any 10-year window within a 40-year period after the original 10-year budget window.
  • Halting the proliferation of new mandatory spending: Establishes the Cut-As-You-Go (CUTGO) rule that demands Congress address its spending problem with spending cuts, not tax increases – requiring lawmakers to find mandatory spending offsets for any mandatory spending elsewhere.
Establishes a point of order against budget reconciliation instructions that increase net direct spending. Democrats used the reconciliation process in the U.S. House of Representatives in the 117th Congress to try to increase spending by a combined more than $7 trillion.
  • Scoring Legislation Beyond 10 years: Requires Congress to confront the nation’s long-term spending crisis by having the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) provide a 25-year and 75-year analysis of current unfunded liabilities and ensure policies Congress considers improve that outlook and reduce long term liabilities for the taxpayer while protecting important programs.
  • Shining a light on inflationary spending: Requires CBO for the first time ever in its cost estimates to include an inflationary analysis for any major spending legislation (defined as having a budgetary impact of 0.25 percent of GDP)
  • No budgetary carveouts for COVID-19 and climate change spending: Eliminates specific budgetary exemptions for spending that Democrats created during their one-party rule.
  • Turning off automatic debt limit increases: Eliminates an automatic deeming of a debt limit increase by the House when it adopts a budget resolution – ensuring House lawmakers cannot avoid a debate and direct vote on a debt limit increase.
  • Turning on more realistic scoring of Congressional spending: Requires that CBO and the Joint Committee on Taxation perform a macroeconomic analysis or “dynamic scoring” of major legislation (defined as having a budgetary impact of 0.25 percent of GDP) – providing Congress additional information about the broader economic impact of federal spending and tax code changes.
  • Defending against future tax increases: Reinstates a requirement that no federal income tax increases can be passed by the House of Representatives without at least a three-fifths, supermajority agreeing to it through a recorded vote.
  • Defunding the Washington bureaucracy: Allows for provisions in appropriations legislation or amendments to such bills to reduce the number or salaries of federal employees or reduce the compensation of any individual paid by the Treasury.
  • Reducing unauthorized spending: Requires the Chairs of House Committees to account for, review, and reduce the backlog of government programs within their jurisdiction whose authorizations have expired yet they continue to receive taxpayer funding – including a new budgetary point of order against increasing in unauthorized spending on appropriations bills.