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Pelosi rejects McCollum war-surtax idea

WASHINGTON, D.C. — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi today rejected a plan backed by Rep.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi today rejected a plan backed by Rep. Betty McCollum that would impose a 1-percent surtax to fund the war in Afghanistan.

The surtax had been supported by several powerful House Democrats, including Appropriations Chairman David Obey. McCollum said when the measure was first introduced in late November that all “additional funding necessary to achieve stability in this region should not be put on America’s credit card, but paid for today,” adding that “borrowing money to pay for the war actually undermines our national security.”

However, Pelosi’s firm opposition means the war-surtax idea is now extremely unlikely to go anywhere.

President Obama estimated Tuesday that his plan to increase troop levels in Afghanistan by 30,000 would cost about $30 billion this year.

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Pelosi did not say precisely how those increased costs would be paid for. “When the president makes a request, we will make a judgment about what support it has, and some of that will relate to how it affects the deficit,” she told reporters at a news conference.