For U.S. House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, any deal made by lawmakers to avoid a year-end "fiscal cliff" has to include tax raises for the wealthy, she said Sunday.
In an interview broadcast on ABC television's "This Week," Pelosi said she is confident an agreement can be reached possibly by mid-December, and that avoiding tax increases would not raise enough revenue. She also mentioned that her step has support from President Barack Obama.
"Just to close loopholes is far too little money," Pelosi said. "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...Hopefully it is possible by the middle of December so the confidence of the markets, and most importantly the confidence of the consumers, returns to infuse our -- our economy with -- with demand, which creates jobs."
Pelosi said negotiators, meaning Obama's cabinet and Congress, are working hard to prevent more than $600 million in spending cuts and tax increases scheduled to take effect starting January, according to Bloomberg.
The California democrat expressed similar sentiments at a news conference on Thursday, Nov. 15, stating that Obama should undeniably raise taxes on Americans earning more than $250,000 a year. However, House member Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said Monday to Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer that Pelosi "keeps changing the game plan" with regards to the "fiscal cliff," suggesting that she and President Obama may not be in agreement on the measures that need to be taken.
"Well, the president isn't saying that," McCarthy said in regards to the statements Pelosi made on Monday. "Remember this, that Nancy said last May that it had to be a tax increase on those [earning] a million and more. So she keeps changing the game plan."
Hemmer then said that it sounds like President Obama "is not in lock-step" with Pelosi regarding tax rates and increases, which suggests that the president may choose to not raise taxes.
"Do you see that as a possibility?" Hemmer asked.
"I see that as a possibility," McCarthy said. "I think elections are over. Let's sit down and find a bipartisan way that we can solve this problem, not go to a fiscal cliff while at the same time have a pro-growth agenda where we grow jobs."