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More Than 100 Organizations Call for Up or Down Vote on Buffett Rule

Sen. Whitehouse’s Legislation to Receive Procedural Vote on Monday

Washington, DC – With the U.S. Senate poised to vote this Monday on U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse’s (D-RI) legislation to improve tax fairness by implementing the Buffett Rule, a coalition of more than 100 national, state, and local organizations sent a letter to Senators today urging them to support the bill. 

“We believe that a basic premise of the promise of America – no matter what your political party – is that everyone should contribute their fair share,” the letter states.  “S. 2230 is a first step to creating a fairer tax system, which provides a clear choice: Do you want a nation where millionaires pay lower taxes than middle-class Americans, or an America where everyone contributes their fair share? Two-out-of three Americans support the latter. We urge you to join with them by supporting S. 2230 and by allowing the measure to get an up-or-down vote.”

The letter was signed by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), the AFL-CIO, the Alliance for Retired Americans, Citizens for Tax Justice, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the Main Street Alliance, the National Organization for Women, the YWCA USA, and many others.

“I’m honored to stand with these organizations in the fight for tax fairness,” said Whitehouse.  “I thank them for lending their support, and I hope my colleagues in the Senate will listen to their message.  It’s time to restore tax fairness for middle-class Americans.”

The full text of the letter is below.

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April 13, 2012

Dear Senator:

We write to ask you to support Senator Sheldon Whitehouse’s “Paying a Fair Share Act of 2012,” S. 2230, legislation that would address an array of tax loopholes that allows some millionaires and billionaires to pay a lower effective tax rate than working families.

S. 2230 implements the so-called “Buffett Rule,” proposed by billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who pays a lower effective tax rate than his secretary. The legislation would require that all households with incomes above $1 million a year pay at least a 30 percent minimum federal effective tax rate on income, a critical first step in creating a more equitable tax code.

This should not be controversial legislation. We believe that a basic premise of the promise of America – no matter what your political party – is that everyone should contribute their fair share. The richest Americans have benefitted from enormous increases in wealth in recent decades, while everyone else has struggled to make ends meet. S. 2230 represents a modest but important step for addressing rising inequality.

There is no reason that Washington should subsidize millionaires and billionaires. Continuing the array of tax loopholes that the Buffett Rule seeks to address adds to the deficit and requires middle-class Americans to make up the difference – either through higher taxes or through reductions in funding for Medicare and Medicaid, public education, researching new medical cures, or rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure.

S. 2230 is a first step to creating a fairer tax system, which provides a clear choice: Do you want a nation where millionaires pay lower taxes than middle-class Americans, or an America where everyone contributes their fair share? Two-out-of three Americans support the latter. We urge you to join with them by supporting S. 2230 and by allowing the measure to get an up-or-down vote.

Sincerely,

9to5, National Association of Working Women

Action North Carolina

ACTION United

AFL-CIO

AFSCME

Alliance for a Just Society

Alliance for Retired Americans

American Federation of Government Employees

American Federation of Teachers

Americans for Democratic Action

Campaign for America's Future

Campaign for Community Change

Catholics United

Center for American Progress Action Fund

Champaign County Health Care Consumers

Children's Alliance

Citizens for Tax Justice

CLASP (Center for Law and Social Policy)

CO Progressive Coalition

Coalition of Labor Union Women

Coalition on Human Needs

Coastal Community Action (NC)

Common Cause

Community Action Agency

Community Action Partnership

Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo County, Inc.

Community Voices Heard

Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO

Disabled Rights Action Committee

Disciples Justice Action Network

Economic Opportunity Institute

Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon

Education Equals Making Community Connections

Every Child Matters

Faith in Public Life

Gray Panthers

Health Care for America Now

Heaven In View Outreach Ministry

IIRON

Institute for Wisconsin's Future

International Brotherhood of Teamsters

Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement

Legal Momentum

Litchfield Public Schools Early Childhood Programs

Mahoning Valley Organizing Collaborative

Main Street Alliance

Maine People's Alliance/Maine People's Resource Center

Maryland National Organization for Women

Metanoia Centers for Innovation

Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund

Michigan Unitarian Universalist Social Justice Network

National Association for Hispanic Elderly

National Committee to Preserve Social Security & Medicare

National Council of Jewish Women

National Council of La Raza

National Council of Women's Organizations

National Council on Independent Living

National Disability Rights Network

National Education Association

National Education Association-Retired

National Low Income Housing Coalition

National Organization for Women

National People's Action

National Women's Law Center

NETWORK

New York State Alliance for Retired Americans

New Yorkers for Fiscal Fairness

NH Citizens Alliance for Action

Northside P.O.W.E.R.

Partners in Counseling

People For the American Way

PICO National Network

Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada

Progress Texas

Progressive Congress

Progressive Democrats of America

ProgressOhio

Promise the Children

Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities Coalition

Rappahannock United Way

RESULTS

Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law

Service Employees International Union

Sisters of St. Francis

Sisters of St. Joseph

Social Security Disability Coalition

St. Vincent de Paul Society

Steelworkers Organization of Active Retirees

Sugar Law Center for Economic & Social Justice

Tax Fairness Oregon

Tax Justice Network USA

The Arc of Alameda County

The Arc of the United States

UFCW Local 1994 MCGEO

United Auto Workers

United Church of Christ, Justice and Witness Ministries

United Electrical Workers Union (UE)

United Food & Commercial Workers Union Local 400

United Food and Commercial Workers

United for a Fair Economy

United Steelworkers

USAction

Virginia Organizing

VOCAL-NY (formerly NYC AIDS Housing Network)

Voices For Progress

WHEAT

Wider Opportunities for Women

Working America

Xaverian Brothers

YWCA USA

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