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WASHINGTON — Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., announced Wednesday that she would vote against her own party's rules for the incoming House over restrictions on deficit spending, pushing long-simmering Democratic divisions into public view.
At issue is the House leadership's plan to include "PAYGO," short for pay-as-you-go, a rule Democrats have adopted in the past that requires them to offset any increase in the deficit by cutting spending or raising revenue elsewhere.
PAYGO - Economics - Maneuver - Progress - Healthcare
"PAYGO isn't only bad economics ... it's also a dark political maneuver designed to hamstring progress on healthcare + other leg.," Ocasio-Cortez tweeted on Wednesday. "We shouldn't hinder ourselves from the start."
She joined Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., who came out against the rules package while warning that PAYGO "unilaterally disarms the incoming Democratic majority's ability to govern."
Issue - Stand-in - Divide - Party - Wing
The issue has also emerged as a stand-in for a larger divide between the party's progressive wing and more centrist Democrats — including the next House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, who supports the spending rule — over the role fiscal responsibility should play in their agenda.
"At a time when climate change threatens our planet, when our infrastructure is crumbling, when 30 million people have no health insurance, when millions of Americans are struggling with outrageous levels of student debt, I am concerned that the concept of PAYGO will make it harder for Congress to address the many crises facing our working families," Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., said in a statement on Wednesday.
Contenders - Sanders - Tens - Trillions - Dollars
Potential 2020 contenders, including Sanders, are currently proposing tens of trillions of dollars in new spending on progressive priorities. Given that Republicans passed a $1.9 trillion tax cut and boosted spending under Trump, substantially increasing the deficit, some Democrats argue they shouldn't let deficit concerns get in the way when they retake power. There's also growing interest among activists in economic theories that put less...
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