Rangel Scoffs at Pelosi’s Proposal to Tax Millionaires

Posted July 21, 2009 at 2:18pm

House Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) bristled Tuesday at Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) suggestion that his health care tax package be rewritten to target millionaires.

“She has mentioned this more than once with me present in a group, but not as any indication that she wants our committee to review it,— Rangel said. “She’s never discussed it with me.—

Rangel said he still supports his committee’s package of tax hikes, which phase in starting at $280,000 for individuals and $350,000 for couples. Pelosi has suggested starting at $500,000 for individuals and $1 million for couples.

“I support what we have put out,— Rangel said. “If anybody has a problem with it, I’m anxious to listen.—

But Rangel, whose committee passed the bill last week, doesn’t plan to rewrite the package.

“No one’s asked us to, and I don’t see any reason at this point to do it,— he said.

But Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.), a Ways and Means subcommittee chairman, said they would probably look into Pelosi’s idea.

“I assume we’ll look at what she said. … thought we resolved it satisfactorily in committee,— he said.

Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.), who is leading a group of freshmen fighting the income tax surcharge, which taxes income at 5.4 percent for couples making more than $1 million a year, didn’t endorse Pelosi’s plan but said her idea was encouraging.

“It’s a sign that leadership is listening to the concerns of the new Members,— Polis said.

Pelosi’s proposal would require either significant new cost cuts or a higher tax rate to comply with pay-as-you-go budget rules. Pelosi has said she wants to squeeze more cost-savings out of the bill.