Pelosi, Schumer abandon tax break for Americans earning up to $1 million

July 9, 2012

Well, that was quick.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) both pushed for an extension of the Bush tax cuts to households earning up to $1 million, breaking from President Obama's proposal to make the cut-off $250,000. But hours after Obama revived the issue by pushing for a one-year-long extension, both have backed off.

Pelosi
(Alex Wong - GETTY IMAGES)

"She applauds the president, and the focus should be on Republicans opposing this at any level," says Nadeam Elshami, Pelosi's communications director. In a press release, she accuses the GOP for "holding middle-class tax cuts hostage to tax breaks for the wealthiest." Similarly, has also united behind the president: “[Schumer] still believes that the millionaire strategy is the best one. But he believes more that party unity at this time is even more important...He’s going to be a team player for the president.” Politico quotes a source close to Schumer as saying.

Pelosi and Schumer's $1 million threshold proposal had attracted considerable criticism from liberal advocates: They pointed out that the higher threshold disproportionately helped the top 2 percent of American households while costing the government $366 billion more in lost revenue over the next decade, as compared to the $250,000 cut-off.

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Suzy Khimm · July 9, 2012