House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Sunday she could not accept any "fiscal cliff" deal that doesn’t include a tax rate increase on the wealthy.
On ABC’s “This Week,” Pelosi, D-Calif., declared “No” to any deal that would not make the richest pay more, saying President Barack Obama was “very clear” on that.
“Well, no, I mean, the president made it very clear in his campaign that there is not enough – there are not enough – what you just described is a formula and a blueprint for hampering our future,” Pelosi said. “You cannot go forward – you have to cut some investments. If you cut too many, you’re hampering growth, you’re hampering education, our investments for the future.
“So just to close loopholes is far too little money,” she added. “If it’s going to bring in revenue, the president has been very clear that the higher-income people have to pay their fair share.”
Obama wants some $1.6 trillion in new revenue over 10 years from the wealthy. He wants tax rates hike on families bringing in more than $250,000 annually.
Republicans, who don’t want to raise taxes, argue that the new revenue should be found by putting a cap on deductions and closing loopholes.
If there is no deal by Dec. 31, then the country goes over the so-called "fiscal cliff" in January when a mixture of tax increases for everyone and huge government spending cuts automatically kick in. The Congressional Budget Office warns this double impact could throw the economy back into recession and make unemployment shoot up.
When asked if she is willing to walk away if there is no agreement, Pelosi was adamant she wants a deal.
“I don't think that’s, in my view, as one with a seat at the table, I don’t think it’s my role to go to the table with a threat,” she said. “I think it’s my role to go to the table with some ideas, to be receptive to what we can come to agreement on. I’m not criticizing statements others make, but what I am saying is that there’s too much at risk. And even if you went over the cliff for one month and then corrected it, you would still have a loss of GDP."
Both Republicans and Democrats have expressed confidence in finding a solution in time.