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Reactions to Senate’s rejection of ‘Buffett Rule’

By Josh Richman
Monday, April 16th, 2012 at 5:51 pm in Barbara Boxer, Nancy Pelosi, taxes, U.S. House, U.S. Senate.

The U.S. Senate today rejected consideration of “the Buffett Rule,” which would impose a minimum tax rate on those making more than $1 million a year, on a 51-45 vote.

The rule is a key weapon in Democrats’ election-year arsenal, leveraging the income-disparity narrative that’s striking a chord with many Americans. It was bound to be a total non-starter in the Republican-dominated House, just as a Republican plan is sure to be doomed later this week in the Democrat-dominated Senate.

Sixty Senate votes were needed to invoke cloture, end debate and bring the measure to a simple majority vote. The vote was largely along party lines, although Susan Collins, R-Maine, voted with most Democrats for closure while Mark Pryor, D-Ark., voted with most Republicans against it.

Though the outcome was no surprise, Bay Area Democrats dutifully voiced outrage.

“Republicans have once again shown that their No. 1 priority is protecting the wealthiest Americans from paying their fair share,” U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., said in a statement. “Why else would they have voted against legislation to ensure that middle-class families don’t pay a higher effective tax rate than millionaires and billionaires?”

“Tonight, Senate Republicans voted against the so-called ‘Buffett rule’ which would restore fairness by fixing a stark tax inequity,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, said in a statement. “Tomorrow, House Republicans will again pass their devastating budget that gives massive tax breaks to millionaires and ends the Medicare guarantee. Later this week, House Republicans will act to benefit their special interest friends by putting forward legislation that adds $46 billion to the deficit and does not require the creation of one single job. Once again, Republicans are giving away billions of dollars to millionaires at the expense of middle-class Americans.”

The White House issued a statement calling the rejected rule “common sense.”

“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,” the White House statement said. “But it’s also about basic fairness – it’s just plain wrong that millions of middle-class Americans pay a higher share of their income in taxes than some millionaires and billionaires. America prospers when we’re all in it together and everyone has the opportunity to succeed.”

On the other side, California Republican Party Chairman Tom Del Beccaro issued a statement saying the Senate “did the right thing today to put an end to an unnecessary distraction and a roadblock to real tax reform.

“Imposing job killing taxes is no way to encourage entrepreneurship in our state or our nation,” he said. “Today’s vote was a small victory for the American people, and for Californians who are woefully overtaxed on this ‘Tax Day’ eve.”

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  • Shelly Cashman

    Well let’s see here Josh. Three large paragraphs dedicated to the Democrat’s party line taken verbatim from their press releases? One small paragraph for a Republican? How about just a little bit of balance? Surely you could have added a few Republican press releases — even if you had to go outside the Bay Area delegation to do it. Or maybe you have no interest in being fair in this blog.

  • RR, Senile Columnist

    Feared by the rich, loved by the poor, Democrats.

  • Elwood

    “House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, said in a statement.”

    Always good to hear from General Custer, who led the dimmiecrats to their worst defeat in 70 years.

  • JohnW

    Shame on the Dems for engaging in gimmicky appeals to simple-minded voters. They should follow the GOP/Frank Luntz lead with intellectually serious political argument, such as “death tax,” “job creators,” “government-run health care,” “death panels,” and “European style socialism.”