House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told reporters during her weekly press briefing on Thursday that, if there’s no agreement between Congress and the White House on the expiration of the current tax rates for wealthy Americans, the country will “go over the cliff.”
Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner has already said the White House is prepared to go over the fiscal cliff if Republicans do not agree to raise tax rates on families making more than $250,000 per year. (RELATED VIDEO — Geithner: Put rates back at Clinton levels … or else)
“I did not understand [Geithner's] statement in the way that you characterized it,” Pelosi said at the briefing. “I think — the way I heard it … I think it was not as a threat — ‘we’ll go over if they don’t’ — it was a prediction.”
“If there is no agreement, then the fiscal cliff has to be dealt with. But I didn’t see it as, ‘if they do this, we do that’; I saw it as a statement of fact. It’s not a threat. It’s a prediction. If there’s no agreement, we go over the cliff. Let’s hope that we can have an agreement.”
President Barack Obama extended former President George W. Bush’s tax cuts for every income bracket in December 2010, but the cuts expire at the end of 2012.
“There’s no reason why we couldn’t come to the table and get this done right now,” Pelosi said. “Everybody knows what the elements are, and so the question is, if we’re going to do it, let’s do it now.”