The U.S. House of Representatives passed a new pay-as-you-go budget bill on Wednesday.
The statute requires that tax cuts or new benefit programs must be paid for with tax increases or cuts to other programs.
The pay-go measure will not force lawmakers to slow spending. Instead, it will prevent them from making things worse.
"By insisting on offsets and deficit neutrality, pay-go buffers the bottom line," said House Budget Committee Chairman John Spratt Jr., D-S.C. "It is a common-sense rule that everyone can understand: when you are in a hole, stop digging."
The deficit for the current year is already estimated to be close to $2 trillion. Republicans say the rules would not apply to the appropriations bills that Congress passes each year.
"This is a fiscal facade," said Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., top Republican on the Budget Committee. "It is designed to disguise the tracks of the explosion of spending, deficits and debt that's occurring this year under this Congress."