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

Pelosi weighs limiting new surtax to million-dollar households

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. Mississippi Mike

    Who panders to the rich? Democrats! Who has the wealthiest House district in the US? Gerry Connolly of Virginia, a Democrat!

    July 20, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  2. Simmy

    Kick the Blue Dogs to the curb – two by two......

    July 20, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  3. Trade Freedom for Security, Lose Both

    A song from the 60's goes "tax the rich, feed the poor, till there are no rich no more." My question is what happens when there are no more rich? Then how will Obamatopia pay for itself?

    July 20, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  4. JD

    Typical liberal insanity. Punish the successful, reward the failures.

    This socialist insanity has GOT TO END!

    July 20, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    @ Fair is Fair, who said "Sniffit July 20th, 2009 12:57 pm ET

    Name another industry in which terrible service results in you NEEDING more service, whether you like it or not, in the same manner as the health care industry.

    The automobile industry."

    Stop buying American then.

    July 20, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  6. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    Wealth redistribution at it's finest. Under Obama for the first time more people are getting a government check than aren't. As those using services continue to grow these 'limited' taxes will creep lower and lower into the middle class, until we have a permanent welfare class awith everyone else paying for them.

    July 20, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |

    one million dollars they wont feel a thing!

    July 20, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  8. Just Say No to Socialism

    As long as we dont let the liberals run this through quickly before the public really understands it, it wont have a chance. Thank god for the blue dog and Dems!! Obama and the administration set a fake deadline so they could try and get it passed before everything was known about this garbage. Even the Democratic governors dont want it!!!

    July 20, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  9. Aunt Bea and Opie

    We will get their swiss accts,offshore accts.and all their sub chapter s tools etc.They think they have their money hidden now, but those days are numbered.The rich WILL finally pay taxes or go to prison like the rest of us do.

    July 20, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  10. Scott the Independent

    I with the speaker; the rich have wealth to the point that they would never miss a few thouasand dollars; they spend a few thousand on a pair of shoes – ask John McCain how much he spent for his last pair. Then ask if he really needed them. The rich can afford it and they can consider it the charity work they never really do.

    July 20, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  11. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Congress needs to turn into Robin Hood. I can't wait until the Bush tax breaks for the rich expire.

    July 20, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  12. Gator

    The blue dogs are the only dems that have any sense. pelosi needs to fly her jet back to california ( which is broke) and retire. When all of their own economic advisors are warning them against this legislation and they won't listen, somethings wrong. I don't know what pelosi, obamaand reid's agenda is, but it seems to be to bring this country to it's knees. if that is the case their doing one hell of a good job.

    July 20, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  13. Scott the Independent

    JD – 4:21pm – STOP you are not rich and this would not affect you and you are arguing against your own best interest. You need health care more than John McCain does but you would argue to protect his 10's of millions...............

    July 20, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  14. Lilarose in Bandon, Oregon

    I had my second knee replacement (different knee) July 10. I was shocked at how many interviews I had with various clinics, doctors, care levels, before the surgery. Most all information was duplicated, but it took real personnel to interview me each time.

    I was also shocked at how much of this information is written by hand onto forms, then other forms, then other forms, all pretty much the same information.

    All these people writing all these reports are costing an arm and a leg. THIS is where we still need to cut, cut, cut wasteful and/or duplicate processes.

    July 20, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  15. RealityKing

    "Healthcare reform will not increase federal spending" -Obama July 2009


    July 20, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  16. GOP = Party of Hypocrisy

    If after receiving the windfall of the Bush tax cuts, you oppose the health care surtax, while we have soldier's in harm's way, you are the most selfish, narcissistic, greedy person imaginable. The wealthy should not be selfishly opposed to supporting real solutions to America's problems. And the extremely high cost of health care is a real problem that cannot be ignored.

    July 20, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  17. Moderate Democrat

    Let's get a few things straight in regards to this debate of Republicans offering ideas. Yes, they have offered alternative plans. The debate starts when we bring in the word "NEW".

    The republicans have not had a NEW thought since Jesus died. All they have is the regurgetated "Give rich people a tax break...let every one else die" policies. We predicted what their plan would involve "Save rich people money, screw the poor and the other 95% of america".

    So yes, you have offered your plan...but it's the same plan you keep offering. We want something that doesn't keep the rich rich, and the poor poor.

    Are rich people bad? No. But they should not recieve special treatment either. They need to stop free loading on the poor. You can talk about your tax bracket all you like. But it's nothing more then a talking point. In the end, rich people pay less per dollar earned then do the poor people. Remove their tax shelters and tax their off shore accounts and then we'll discuss this "pay more taxes' crap you people keep spewing. But until then, they are nothing but free loaders not doing their share. Pay the same, per take home dollar.....PERIOD.

    July 20, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  18. Scott the Independent

    @Sniffit – if government health care were so bad how come every Rushpublican has opted to keep his or her government sponsored health care instead of seeking private insurance; lord knows they can afford to get insured anywhere they want.

    July 20, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  19. Jon

    This is an example of what happens when long standing politicans with no fear of not being re-elected make policy. Elections have consequences...you wanted socialism, you got it. The U.S. is going to make Sweden look coldly capitalist.

    July 20, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  20. worriedmom

    Pelosi is a joke!! The Democrats and LIberals should be very ashamed of her. She wants it so bad, why doesn't she donate all her money and cut down on her expenses and trips to put toward health care. Do you guys really think anyone making a million or more hasn't found ways to reduce their taxable incomes??? It isn't jsut the Blue Dog Democrats that are wary of this reform, it is other Democrats!

    July 20, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  21. Melissa

    Sounds fine to me.

    July 20, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  22. Henry Miller

    Oh, those must evil of people! Those who dare to earn more than what Queen Nancy thinks they ought to be allowed to earn!

    Pelosi just doesn't get it. It's not who she plans to rob, it's the intent to rob that's so appalling. Somehow she's gotten it into her fuzzy little liberal head that private wealth is wrong and either not ought to be allowed, or if, despite her best efforts to limit it only to government, people manage to achieve it, they ought to be punished.

    July 20, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  23. Karl in Charleston,SC

    Tax and spend,
    Tax and spend,
    Tax and spend all day.
    Oh what fun it is to prop up Chevrolet, Hey!

    To the tune of Jingle Bells.

    July 20, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  24. Jon H

    I don't feel like working anymore. gimme gimme gimme! those mean and nasty rich people have too much money and it's NOT FAIR! 😦 😦 😦

    July 20, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  25. Ohio D

    Nancy, START THE SURTAX AT $30k!!!

    I only make $24k a year... If you make more than me, you are rich...

    July 20, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
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