July 20th, 2009
04:00 PM ET
5 years ago

Pelosi weighs limiting new surtax to million-dollar households

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Monday that she is considering a major adjustment to House Democrats' health care bill.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Monday that she is considering a major adjustment to House Democrats' health care bill.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - An aide to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi confirms to CNN that, in attempt to quell a revolt among conservative Democrats, she is considering changing House Democrats' health care bill so that it only taxes families making $1 million or more.

"The Speaker has said several times she would like to squeeze more savings out of the system, and if we can do that we can reduce the number of people affected by the surcharge," said Brendan Daly, a spokesman for the Speaker.

To raise revenue to pay for reform, the House Democrats health care bill would impose a surcharge on individuals making $280,000 or more and families making $350,000 or more.

Pelosi is now suggesting starting that surtax at individuals making $500,000 and families making $1 million.

The Speaker first raised the idea in an interview with Politico.

Last week, 22 Democratic House freshmen sent a letter to the Speaker saying they were "extremely concerned" about what the taxes in their party's health care bill would do to small businesses.

Rep. Gerry Connolly, a Democratic freshman from a conservative swing district in Virginia, told CNN he believes a surcharge could hurt his constituents.

“It’s important to remember that with the expiration of the tax cuts on the highest income level, folks over a certain income level are going to see their tax rate go from 35 percent back to 39.6 percent,“ Connolly told CNN.

"To add to that a 5.4 percent tax to finance health care, on top of other fees and so forth that are being discussed, I think is wrong."

But he said Pelosi's idea to eliminate the tax on any individuals making below $500,000 helps.

"It narrows the number of people who would be affected. I think it probably goes a long way in protecting the small businesses we were concerned about and it puts more pressure on our House colleagues who are writing the bill to identify more in savings." Connolly told CNN.

As for Republicans: House GOP Conference Chairman Mike Pence, R-Indiana, slammed the surtax in any form. "It almost boggles the mind that the majority in Congress would continue headlong down a pathway toward increasing the tax burden on anyone at a time when our economy is shedding hundreds of thousands of jobs per month," said Pence.


Filed under: Health care • Nancy Pelosi
soundoff (84 Responses)
  1. Legna

    Pelosi must make $999,999.99 per year...She is an ABSOLUTE..............joke!!!!!

    July 20, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  2. ryan

    I'm all for a sliding scale tax code. If the USA could get a health care system like Norways I would have no problem paying more. I'm middle class. To cover my family it's $11,000. Even if they raised my tax to the level they want to raise it on the rich I would be paying less and getting more.

    July 20, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  3. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    Will the plan have restrictions on funding illegal immigrat health care? No. Your taxes will pay for them too. Will the plan prevent employers from junking their current plans and forcing you into a public plan? No. Are there any examples in the US of a government run health plan? Yes, the VA. You know, the substandard plan our vets are stuck with.

    July 20, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  4. Bob in Pa

    How about making the "public option" optional, requiring all those who want it to perform public labor & service equal to the amount that the public option costs ? No more something for nothing.

    July 20, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  5. Steph

    Kevin B:
    It is duly noted that there is also a segment of society feels that everyone else should be obligated to 'make a contribution' to their well-being, these folks be they rich, middle class or poor tend to generally trend as democrats.

    I'll go a step further and point out that if you view charitable giving by party lines, republicans give a much higher percentage out of pocket then democrats. Looking at this, I'm led to believe that both sides desire the best for their fellow humans, democrats feel charity should be mandated and forced on people, republicans feel that it should come from the individual.

    Try not to demonize a group that disagrees with you – let's all start with the premise that no one desires harm to anyone else, it's a matter of where they think the help should come from.

    July 20, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  6. bozo the obama

    Nancy PeLIEsi is your typical tax and spend liberal. Your money not hers.

    July 20, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
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