(CNSNews.com) - House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) called the proposal of House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to increase tax rates on millionaires a “political ploy,” and said he thought it was a political ploy when House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi made the same proposal in May 2012.
“Very frankly I think that Leader Pelosi floated that again as a political ploy. I think if you ask her, it was a political ploy. Not because she believed that was the level at which—but she wanted to show the Republicans wouldn’t even vote for a million,” Hoyer said Tuesday during a pen-and-pad briefing with reporters on Capitol Hill.
“It’s just absurd that a lot of Republicans probably won’t vote for Boehner’s suggestion because they want to protect anybody even over a million dollars. The public doesn’t agree with them, but maybe some people do agree with them,” he said.
Hoyer added that he continues to support increasing tax rates on those who earn $200,000 to $250,000 per year.
Earlier today, Boehner proposed a “Plan B” to avert the so-called “fiscal cliff” that calls for an increase in the tax rate on millionaires from 35% to 39.6%.
CNSNews.com reported earlier that Boehner’s latest fiscal cliff proposal does not address large spending cuts (sequestration) that will take effect on Jan. 1, 2013 and deals only with tax rates.
Back in May, Pelosi offered a similar proposal to extend the Bush tax cuts for all those earning less than $1 million and to raise taxes on millionaires.
Hoyer criticized the Plan B proposal, saying it’s “not a serious effort” towards achieving an agreement.
“The math doesn’t work. We’re going to urge our members to vote ‘No.’ The math simply doesn’t work, it’s not a serious effort to get us to where we need to be,” Hoyer said.
“I can’t imagine anybody that will think that it’s a serious effort. I wouldn’t put a million dollar threshold when the Democrats were proposing it quite frankly, I’m not for it now when the Republicans propose it,” he added.