Senate votes on controversial Buffett Rule
With taxes foremost in the minds of Americans, as the deadline to file is just hours away, Senate democrats brought the controversial Buffett Rule to vote Monday evening. Erin Billups brings us more.
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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- There's been plenty of debate over the push by Democrats to raise taxes on those making a million or more a year.
"The richest people and largest corporations are doing phenomenally well, while the middle class is collapsing and poverty increases," Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders said.
But Republicans have been clear for some time that the President's "Buffett Rule," requiring a minimum 30 percent income tax for the rich, would not pass.
Democrats were unable to get the 60 votes needed to pass the measure.
"You've got the top two percent paying almost half of all income taxes. Is that fair?" asked Arizona Senator Jon Kyl said.
Still, for Democrats, the Buffett Rule will remain a popular talking point this election year.
"We're not just going to do this once, we're going to do this over and over again. The public is on our side, Democrats, Independents and Republicans are on our side," New York Senator Charles Schumer said.
The President has already centered numerous speeches around the Buffett Rule, named after billionaire Warren Buffett, who supports higher taxes for the super wealthy.
"I’m not the first President to call for this idea that everybody has got to do their fair share," Obama said.
In a speech last week, President Obama took a shot at Republicans using one of their icons, Ronald Reagan, to bring his point home.
Obama said, "He thought that, in America, the wealthiest should pay their fair share,and he said so."
The President says he will also continue to beat the drum on the Buffett Rule. But Republicans show no sign of folding... calling the push, campaign politics.
"We should be focused on jobs and energy legislation that can pass. Not tax hikes through show-votes that are designed to fail," Kyl said.
Republicans maintain that the Buffett Rule will make little difference in helping to reduce the deficit or stabilize the economy. But by shooting down the measure, Democrats now have the Republicans on record opposing a policy that a majority of Americans support.