WASHINGTON -- On Tuesday, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) suggested that former Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) had only endorsed the million-dollar level for tax hikes as a "political ploy."
Pelosi caused an uproar among liberals when she first floated the idea last summer. Her ploy is now coming back to bite Democrats politically. Her support, along with Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer's, is being used by Republicans who are now pushing for the level to sit at a $1 million rather than the Democrat-preferred $250,000, or $400,000 as the president has suggested.
"Very frankly, I think Leader Pelosi, floated that again, as a political ploy," Hoyer said. "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 that Republicans wouldn’t even vote for a million. It was just observed that a lot of Republicans probably won’t vote for Boehner’s suggestion at a million."
We don't have to ask her, because we already did. During the Democratic National Convention, Pelosi sat down for an interview with HuffPost Live, and openly copped to the political nature of her million-dollar offer.
"The only reason I was saying a million was to smoke out the Republicans to see if there was any figure, no matter how high, that they might agree to," Pelosi said. "And it sends a strong message to the public that they won't even agree to a million dollars."
Even by the convention, though, the offer was already off the table. "I think the decision has been made. It will be $250[,000]," she said.
Schumer, for his part, has said that Republicans should have taken the offer when it was made. Since then, the politics have changed and the voters have spoken, he said, so the deal is off.
"I originally believed a million dollars was the right place to draw the line; the president campaigned on $250,000, the voters ratified that, and that's where we are," said Schumer last week.