The House this afternoon is scheduled to consider the debt limit extension bill - H.R. 3746, the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023. Title III of this bill is the Administrative Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2023. This provision is intended to restrain certain regulatory activity.
According to the Section by Section Analysis released by the Speaker’s office: “This section would establish, for the first time in law, a PAYGO requirement for executive branch actions that increase direct spending, similar to that established by President Trump in 2019. Before finalizing a rule that would increase direct spending by more than $1 billion over 10 years or $100 million in any single year, agencies would have to submit a plan that reduces direct spending by an equal or greater amount. For agency actions mandated by law, agencies would also have to identify a least costly implementation option for executive rulemakings. GAO will be required to include in their Congressional Review Act (CRA) reports to Congress an analysis of whether rules abided by Administrative PAYGO requirements.”
The Director of OMB may waive the requirement if the waiver is necessary for the delivery of essential services or is necessary for effective program delivery. OMB is required to issue guidance regarding the implementation of this title not later than 90 days after the date of enactment. The title expires on December 31, 2024.
The Senate is expected to take up the bill later this week.
This provision is likely to be a factor for the proposed school meal standards rule. According to the Federal Register notice accompanying the rule, “the total cost estimates to implement this proposed rule of $1.2 to $1.4 billion”, bringing it within the threshold specified by the legislation should a waiver not be granted. So one more matter to monitor in the weeks ahead.