Republican-led opposition blocked the ‘Buffett rule’ from advancing in the Senate, turning back an election year effort by President Obama to slap a new tax rate on those earning beyond $1 million a year.
Nearly all Republicans voted against the measure, a potentially risky move at a time when 60% of voters support the measure, according to a recent Gallup poll, as a way to ensure wealthy Americans pay their fair share of taxes. Democrats are likely to revive the effort in coming months.
”œContinuing to allow some of the wealthiest Americans to use special tax breaks to avoid paying their fair share simply cannot be justified,” the White House said in a statement before the vote.
But Republicans stood firm in their opposition, calling the measure a ”œgimmick” that was more about blaming the wealthy than reining in government spending and deficits.
The Senate voted 51-45, mostly along party lines. The measure needed 60 votes to advance. One Republican, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, joined Democrats in voting to advance the measure. One Democrat, Sen. Mark Pryor of Arkansas, voted against.
”œMost people have heard enough about this president’s notion of fairness,” said Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader. ”œTo most people, what’s fair about America is that they can earn their success and expect to be rewarded for it.”