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Learn about policy issues important to medical schools and teaching hospitals, with Executive Vice President Atul Grover, M.D., Ph.D.
House Adopts Rules Package
January 7, 2011—The House Jan. 5 adopted procedural rules for the 112th Congress that Republicans hope will aid their efforts to cut federal spending and reduce the deficit. The House adopted the rules package (H.Res.5) on a party-line vote, 240-191.
The rules, approved Jan. 4 by the House Republican Conference, replace the current “pay-as-you-go” (PAYGO) requirements with a more limited “cut-as-you-go” rule, which requires increases in mandatory spending to be offset by cuts in other existing mandatory programs and not by tax increases or other measures that increase revenues, such as closing special interest tax loopholes.
The rules also require House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) to publish “budget enforcement” information in the Congressional Record, including a discretionary spending limit for the remainder of FY 2011. Republican leaders have pledged to cut “non-security” spending to FY 2008 levels.
Under the new rules, appropriations bills must include a “spending reduction account” that includes funds from any amendments to cut spending and prevents those funds from being used to increase other federal programs.
In addition, the new rules repeal the “Gephardt rule,” which allowed the House to raise the federal debt limit automatically when the House and Senate approve a conference report on the budget resolution. The House now will have to hold a separate vote to raise the debt limit, an action that will be required in early spring.
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