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Hoyer doesn't back war surtax

From NBC's Luke Russert
Also at his weekly pen-and-pad session today, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer declined to support House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey's proposal for a surtax on the wealthy to pay for the escalating war in Afghanistan.

Hoyer said that he had been supportive of such a plan in the past. But he alluded to conditions brought forth by the Bush administration as the reason why he is unable support such a tax at this time.

"I have generally been supportive of that proposition," he said. "Unfortunately, we find ourselves as the inheritors of two challenges of significant proportion. A failed economy and a failure to succeed in Afghanistan."

Hoyer left the door open for possible support by saying, "I'm going to talk to Obey about it. I am not supporting it at this point in time, but I do support the general proposition."

Hoyer concluded, "Again, it's complicated by the necessity on the one hand to get the economy going again and on the other hand to pay for what we buy."