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. Dutch the mooch

    There are not enough rich people in this country to pay down the $23 TRILLION debt which the Obama administration said we would have as of THIS MORNING. Quit mooching and stay within your budgets people.

    July 20, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  2. J. S.

    Why doesn't Pelosi go a few steps further and introduce changes to make Congress and the President accept the same insurance coverage that the American taxpayers would have to take under this nationalized healthcare program?.

    July 20, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  3. Scott the Independent

    Gator think about this for one minute. We give billions to countries in need; we give billions to countries like Egypt and Israel so that they won't fight each other; we give millions to Iraq insurgents not to shoot at U.S. Troops. We give millions to Pakistan to fight against drug exports and to keep peace with India. All those billions of tax payer dollars and we never say we can't afford it.

    Now we have President that wants to address the needs and concerns of the country. That wants to improve our infrastructure and our health care. Why is it that when we discuss spending money on Americans in America its cost too much; but we don't have a problem tossing money all over the rest of the planet?

    July 20, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    Do any of you moron GOPers know how long we've had a graduated/progressive income tax in this country (no, "progressive" doesn't refer to the political leanings of its proponents)? First one: 1862. Yes, this was during Lincoln's presidency, and yes, both chambers of Congress had a Republican majority.

    So please, shoosh.

    July 20, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  5. Roger

    Tax the rich!!!!! How unfair is that? They can't afford it. Its obivous we have to tax the poor they can afford it. I get so sick of the poor expecting the rich to pay their fair share. Why should the rich pay? The poor have much more to lose, they should pay. Why if the poor dont pay their fair share they will lose their way of life, framed 1000 square foot homes they can't afford to heat. The right to pay out medical bills monthly. Where on the other hand the rich will only lose mansions, restored vintage cars, vacation homes in the mountains & on the beach......never mind...but wait! The rich works hard for their money! They spend hours digging ditches, laying pipe, back breaking work....oops I forgot the rich dont have to do labor work, the poor does it for them...........disregard,...... my bad.

    July 20, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  6. Dan in VA

    It won't be enough.

    July 20, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  7. johnnie

    Madame Speaker, is s(smart ) like the (FOX) she is,the (republicans) dont know what to do, wtih the (MAJORITY). Mike Pence ,who is on the (Bubble) in Indiana,slams the (Surtax)in any (FORM). He is on (Life Support ) in his own state,and always promotes the (PARTY OF NO). The President said in his (CAMPAIN) he would not raise (TAXES) on anyone ,making (250 Thousand Dollars), and Nancy Pelosi to (suggest) a (Surtax ) on 500 to a (Million) bracket ,is (FAIR)...President Obama is so (SMART) he has the (RNC) and the (GOP) just where the President wants them, (ON DEFENSE). Madame Speaker ,your (DAY) has come,to enject (CHANGE) and continue ,to stay on (POINT) and follow the leader , President Obama. It is (TME) for the (RICH ) to do their (PART) for the (Country). We need and will (GET HEALTH CARE REFORM). The (GOP) does not have a (PLAN) no (NEW IDEAS) they just say (NO). ... (YES WE CAN ) Madame Speaker, (YES WE WILL) and after the press (Conference) on Wed with the President to the (NATION)... (YES WE DID)....

    July 20, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  8. Zero.

    That is not what Barack Obama said... Another Flip Flop. He said he was going to Tax the rich to help the poor. So far he has done absolutly nothing to help the lower-class. Only himself. The Turky who thinks he something because he can use the word "ICON" of which he will never be..

    July 20, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  9. Dont blame me

    To Scott the Independent

    1st off Scott, YOU are NOT an Independent. You sir are a Liberal, trying to pass yourself off as an independent.

    There is a right way to do health care reform and there is a wrong way. And what is being proposed is the WRONG way.

    Try reading some of the bill that is being proposed.

    This this is a HUGE fiasco waiting to happen.

    *** WAKE UP AMERICA - BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE ***

    July 20, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  10. Don

    You people writting these comments about the rich are crazy. I am not rich but I would like to be. The rich are so evil but who is going to give you a job when the rich run out of money & are poor. How many of you are employed by a poor person? You people are joke & make me laugh. God help you all.

    July 20, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  11. RNC = DNC = politics as usual

    Wait a second. Obama said the health care changes would pay for themselves when he was campaigning.

    I think we have our Obama Lie-of-the-Day!

    July 20, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  12. david armstrong

    No real transparency in the new banking system. We cave-in to the oligarchswho have no regard for the tax payers who bailed them out. The banksmake a profit by new accounting methods. True unemployment reaches 24% in some places. Health care reform begins to slowly be watered down and is really about the poor not "all Americans". Not every service is an entitlement. Not everyone is equal. It is a fact. And I suppose people like nancy peilosi think no one notices. The senate is an exclusive club more interested in itself, its privileges, its egos than the country. Lies and distortion are the order of the day.

    July 20, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  13. nom deplume

    Dutch says "Congress needs to turn into Robin Hood."

    To which I respond: " . . . . from my cold, dead hands."

    July 20, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  14. Art in Las Vegas

    JD,
    I'm sure you aspire to be considered one of the wealthy in this country. Sorry, its a club they won't let you into. They will let you in so far!

    July 20, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  15. Paul from Phoenix

    Since people in Hollywood don't seem to mind paying taxes (Michael Moore, Alec Baldwin, Jon Bon Jovi), maybe we should just tax actors, directors and producers in Hollywood making over $250,000 per movie.

    July 20, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  16. Democrat no more!!

    Why is taxing the rich to pay for everyone else ok with many on this board? You can't take care of yourself and provide for yourself? It isn't up to those who work hard to pay for your lazy butt! What will be the incentive for anyone to work hard when the government takes in excess of 50% of ones income with income tax.............not to mention the many other taxes paid, like property, sales, gas...etc, etc. Can't any of you lame brains figure out this will cost jobs? Or is it you don't care about jobs cause you don't want to work anyway?

    July 20, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  17. Waiting for 2010

    How about the old bat Pelosi gives up her private jet privileges that we the tax payers are paying for. All the politicians should give up their perks that we pay for. If all of Obamas tax cheats, paid their taxes we wouldn't have to tax the crap out of everyone else. What is wrong with those who need the health care pay their own premiums??

    July 20, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  18. phoenix86

    They should also apply it to every congressman and Senator.

    July 20, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  19. makesUwonder

    Aunt Bea and Opie July 20th, 2009 4:32 pm ET

    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.
    ------------------
    Lets see.......Timothy Geithner, Charlie Rangel, Tom Daschle and the likes didn't pay taxes and they sure didn't go to prison.

    July 20, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  20. phoenix86

    I guess that those making less than $1 million do the majority of creating jobs in America, so this won't effect unemployment at all.

    July 20, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  21. beevee

    I don't think that Ms. Pelosi's plan is well thought out. i suggest the income limit be set at 400,000 for individual and 800,000 for family. In any part of the US these are substantial incomes.

    July 20, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  22. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    @ Dutch the Mooch

    So I guess you still think trickle down economics works huh?

    July 20, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  23. Randy

    Pelosi, You are doing a Great Job.

    I support you. Keep up the Good Work.

    July 20, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  24. Robespierre

    Their fair share of taxes or The National Razor. Let them decide.

    July 20, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  25. Breck

    I got a better idea to finance public health care. Do similar to what we do to finance schools. Instead of having a local property tax we have a national ASSETS tax. Everyone pays a tax on a small percent of their asset. To fund publick health care. At this point the costs of health care in this country have gotten plain ridicules, it cost $15,000 to have a baby in a hospital with a normal delivery and a two day stay. What a joke. The main reason for this situation is laws passed by your governments both State and Federal that infuse large amounts of money into the system and give near monopoly status to hospitals and drug companies. Ever wonder why there are lots of abortion clinics and no birthing clinics? Anyway I see the system crashing under its own weight in the next ten years. Only hope is to start a parallel system run by the government much like education. Private care and public care. The public system would compete with the private system and help bring down the costs of the private system. The thinking behind everyone paying for public schools even if you are wealthy and send your kids to a private school is that everyone benefits from a well educated population. The same goes for health care, we all benefit from a healthy work force. The current VA hospital system could be a nucleus for the start of the public system.

    July 20, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
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