Pelosi rejects plan to impose 'war tax' for troop increase

Friday, December 4, 2009

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday scuttled a proposal to create a "war tax" to finance the increased troop deployment to Afghanistan, an idea that had come from her closest allies in the Capitol.

House Appropriations Chairman David Obey (D-Wis.) and others have suggested a temporary tax on workers who earn as little as $30,000 a year to fund the effort. Democrats such as Obey oppose the increase in forces -- which will place more than 100,000 U.S. troops on Afghan soil -- and have latched onto the financing of the effort as the proxy fight for opposition to the conflict. President Obama has pegged the cost at $30 billion.

In rejecting Obey's tax, Pelosi did not offer other ways to finance the stepped-up war effort. Pelosi joins Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) and House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) in opposing that plan.

-- Paul Kane and Ben Pershing

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