U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said any budget agreement to avert the so-called fiscal cliff must raise tax rates on the highest earners, a step backed by President Barack Obama.
Pelosi, a California Democrat, couldn’t accept any budget deal that doesn’t raise tax rates on the wealthy, she said on ABC’s “This Week.” She said she’s optimistic that an agreement can be reached, possibly by mid-December, and that eliminating tax loopholes won’t raise enough revenue on their own.
“Just to close loopholes is far too little money,” Pelosi said in the interview. “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 and Congress are negotiating now to prevent more than $600 billion of automatic spending cuts and tax increases scheduled to take effect in January, which would deal a fresh blow to the still-struggling U.S. economy. Pelosi said negotiators are urgently working to keep that from happening.
“The spirit at the table was one of ‘everybody wants to make the best effort to get this done’,” she said. “Hopefully that is possible; 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.”
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