Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010

Pub. L. 111-139; ; 124 Stat. 8; Feb. 12, 2010; H.J. Res. 45 (111th Congress)



On February 12, 2010, President Barack Obama signed H.J.Res. 45 into law, as P.L. 111-139. In addition to an increase in the statutory limit on the public debt to $14.294 trillion, the act contains two titles dealing with budgetary matters. Title I, referred to as the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010, established a budget enforcement mechanism requiring  legislation enacted into law not increase the deficit. Since deficits are calculated by summing changes in direct spending and revenue , it applies to laws making such changes.

Title II, which contains only a single section, pertains to routine investigations by the Comptroller General aimed at eliminating duplicative and wasteful spending.

Section 2  (SPaygo) states that the purpose of the Act is “to enforce a rule of budget neutrality on new revenue and direct spending legislation.” The budgetary effects of revenue and direct spending provisions enacted into law are recorded by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on two PAYGO scorecards. These scorecards are cover five-year and ten-year periods, and with each new session of Congress, the periods are extended out an additional fiscal year.

Conceptually, the budgetary effects of PAYGO measures are determined by CBO, which are incorporated by reference into the legislation by statements inserted into the Congressional Record by the chairmen of the House and Senate Budget Committees. In reality, this practice has not been followed and OMB estimates have been used to determine changes in direct spending and revenue.

Fourteen days after the end of a session of Congress, OMB finalizes the two PAYGO scorecards and determines whether a violation of the PAYGO deficit-neutrality has occurred. If a “debit” is determined to exist, then the President orders a sequestration that result in across-the-board cuts in nonexempt direct spending programs to eliminate the debit. Most direct spending programs are exempt from sequestration. If no PAYGO violation is found, no further action occurs and the process is repeated during the next session.

The Statutory PAYGO regimen is applied a permanent basis since no expiration dates are included in the act.


Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010

Public Law 111-139: Statutes at Large (GPO Link)

Public Law 111-139: Statutes at Large  

Section-by-Section: Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010 (BCR Document Derived from Congressional Record)

Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010 – Section-by-Section (Sen. Conrad) 111th Congress, 2nd Session Issue: Vol. 156, No. 12 — Daily Edition January 28, 2010;  pp. S291-295.

OMB – A Description of the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010 (OMB Summary) 

Compendium (2015) – Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010

General Information:  Pub. L. 111–139 Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010


U.S. Code


Pub. L. 111-139

Statutes At Large

31 USC 3101 Amended section Increased debt limit No section First provision 124 Stat. 8
2 USC 931 Short Title Sec. 1 124 Stat. 8
2 USC 931 New Note Sec. 2 124 Stat. 8
2 USC 932 New (Definitions) Sec. 3 124 Stat. 8
2 USC 933 New Sec. 4 124 Stat. 9
2 USC 639 Amended sec. 308 (CBA) CBO Scores Sec. 4(b) 124 Stat. 11
2 USC 934 New Sec. 5 124 Stat. 15
2 USC 935 New Sec. 6 124 Stat. 16
    Sec. 7 124 Stat. 16
2 USC 936 New Sec. 8 124 Stat. 21
2 USC 937 New Sec. 8 124 Stat. 21
2 USC 900 New Technical Sec.  9(a) 124 Stat. 21
2 USC 906 New Technical Sec. 9(b) 124 Stat. 21
2 USC 906 Repeal Sec. 10 124 Stat. 21
2 USC 905 Amend Sequester BBEDCA 255 List Sec. 11 124 Stat. 23
2 USC 938 New Sec. 12 124 Stat. 29
2 USC 939 New Sec. 13 124 Stat. 29
31 USC 712 New Note Sec. 21 124 Stat. 29


Text of Sections of Law


Section 1. Short Title

Section 2. Purpose

Section 3. Definitions

Section 4. Estimates and Scorecards

Section 05. Report and Sequestration Order

Section 6. Calculating Sequestration

Section 7. Adjustment Current Policies

Section 8. Application of BBEDCA

Section 9. Technical Corrections

Section 10. Conforming Amendments

Section 11. Exempt Programs

Section 12. Determinations Points of Order

Section 13. Limitations Social Security


Section 21. Identification, Consolidation, and Elimination of Duplicative Government Programs.





Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995


Budget Control Act of 2011 

[HBC § 280]