April 16, 2012

Whitehouse Statement on Buffett Rule Vote

Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) released the following statement today regarding the vote to advance his Paying a Fair Share Act of 2012, a bill to implement the “Buffett Rule.”  Sixty votes were required to advance the measure, and the bill failed by a vote of 51 to 45. 

“It is inexcusable that a multi-million-dollar earner can pay a lower tax rate than a Rhode Island truck driver,” said Whitehouse after the vote.  “Today’s vote on the Paying a Fair Share Act took us one step closer to ensuring that middle-class families across the country get the straight deal they deserve.  Although we were unable to break the Republican filibuster, a majority of the United States Senate has gone on the record in favor of greater fairness in our tax code.  I’ll keep fighting to make the Buffett Rule law.”

Whitehouse’s Paying a Fair Share Act would ensure that multi-million-dollar earners pay at least a 30-percent effective tax rate.  It would apply only to taxpayers with income over $1 million – including capital gains and dividends.  Taxpayers earning over $2 million would be subject to a 30-percent minimum federal tax rate and the tax would be phased in for incomes between $1 million and $2 million.  

The bill also includes language to preserve the incentive for charitable giving.

In addition to restoring fairness to the tax code, the Joint Committee on Taxation has estimated that the bill would generate $47 billion in new revenue over the next decade under current law, or $162 billion if the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy are extended.  The bill is supported by President Obama and Warren Buffett himself.

In tonight’s vote, one Republican joined with 50 Democrats in supporting the bill. 


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