We knew that this wasn’t going to be easy. The Republicans will continue to side with millionaries and billionaires. We must continue the pressure.
Senate Republicans defeated a motion to take up Buffett Rule legislation the day before taxes are due.
Democrats fell short of the 60 votes needed to advance the bill late Monday. The final party-line vote was 51 in favor, 45 against, with Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Mark Pryor (D-AR) breaking ranks with their leadership. The sharp contrast promises to be a defining issue in the presidential election this November.
The principle behind the rule — that people making over $1 million a year should pay at least 30 percent in taxes — was championed by President Obama in his State of the Union this year and subsequently written into legislation by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI). The rule includes nuances and exceptions aimed at minimizing adverse incentives. It’s expected to raise tax receipts by $47 billion over 10 years, although Democrats say that figure would be at least $160 billion if the Bush tax cuts are extended.