The PJ Tatler

Senate Republicans Eat Buffett Rule for Dinner

Senate Democrats fell short of the 60 votes needed to move forward with debate on the Buffett Rule today.

The cloture vote on Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse’s (D-R.I.) bill was 51-49. One Republican, Sen. Susan Collins (Maine), voted yes and one Democrat, Sen. Mark Pryor (Ark.), voted no.

“There is no disputing that the wealthy should pay their fair share in taxes,” Pryor said. “This inequity should be fixed as part of broad tax reform, not as a political ploy meant to score points. A serious, bipartisan effort to reform the tax code could pass Congress and be signed into law, ensuring that employees no longer write larger checks to Uncle Sam than their CEOs.”

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) was not present for the vote but announced his opposition to the bill.

President Obama released a statement calling the Buffett Rule “common sense” and charging that Republicans chose “once again to protect tax breaks for the wealthiest few Americans at the expense of the middle class.”

“One of the fundamental challenges of our time is building an economy where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same rules,” Obama said. “And I will continue to push Congress to take steps to not only restore economic security for the middle class and those trying to reach the middle class, but also to create an economy that’s built to last.”

“If you’re one of the nearly 13 million unemployed Americans, there is nothing ‘fair’ about the President’s latest ploy to raise taxes on job-creators,” said Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas).

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) blasted Obama on the Senate floor for his “political gimmick.”

“This body chooses again for the third consecutive year not to have a budget. It’s unbelievable,” Toomey said.

“Instead, we’re going to waste time arguing about this political stunt,” he continued. “The president proposed a budget at least. Unfortunately, it was not a serious budget, not a serious attempt to deal with the massive deficits we’re running.”

Democrats remained defiant after the loss. “Today we have lost the battle, but not the war,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said.