Senate Blocks Buffett Rule With 51-45 Vote

While some of us are still fretting about filing our taxes before the deadline, the Senate voted today to put a kibosh on the so-called Buffett Rule, a proposed tax reform intended to guarantee that those earning more than $2 million annually would pay a federal tax rate of at least 30%.

Only last week, the Obama administration was making a very public push for support on the measure, calling it the “most simple, common sense reform” to make sure that the nation’s wealthiest individuals don’t pay a smaller share than those who earn smaller incomes.

Opponents of the Buffett Rule argued that it penalizes those wealthy individuals whose worth is heavily tied to investments, and by doing so, would also stunt economic growth and job creation.

While 51 Senators voted in favor of the reform, the mere majority was nine votes short of the 60 required for it to inch closer to reality.

Republican Susan Collins of Maine was the one member of that party to vote for the bill, while Mark Pryor of Arkansas was the sole Democrat Senator to issue a thumbs-down. Of the four Senators absent from the voting, there was one Democrat, two Republicans and one independent.

Following the vote, President Obama released a statement expressing his displeasure:

At a time when we have significant deficits to close and serious investments to make to strengthen our economy, we simply cannot afford to keep spending money on tax cuts that the wealthiest Americans don’t need and didn’t ask for.

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