All Senate Republicans and two Democrats voted today to block Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) millionaire tax resolution from further floor
proceedings. Democratic Senators Ben Nelson (Neb.) and Mark Pryor (Ark.)
voted NOT to raise taxes at all on millionaires.
The 51-49 vote likely spells the end for the measure, which does not carry the force of law and calls for higher taxes on people earning $1 million or more in a year. The measure required 60 votes to proceed.
Reid put forward the proposal last Tuesday as a way to meet Republican demands to begin considering bills related to the debt-ceiling and budget-deficit crises.
Since Reid offered the resolution, it has become a favorite punching bag for Republicans who have derided it as a waste of the Senate's time.
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) roasted Democratic leadership over the resolution last Wednesday, claiming it was a cheap stunt. “The leadership in the Senate offered a non-binding resolution designed solely to score some cheap political points that will jazz up the activist left to demagogic class warfare against individuals with high incomes,” Hatch warned. “I guarantee you, if we raise taxes, my friends on the other side will spend every dime of it.”
Republicans did, however, vote twice to advance the resolution, but some played along in the hopes of hijacking the opinion of the Senate with extraneous amendments.
Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) called the resolution a "sham" and a publicity piece and said he did not support it, but indicated last week he was looking forward to the amendment process. "When it passes tonight we will have permission to add amendments to the sense of the Senate resolution, maybe,” he said. “In other words we can amend the opinion of the Senate that cannot be law. How long will we amend and debate an opinion?”
Reid quickly stamped out any opportunities for offering non-germane amendments by deploying a procedural tactic know as "filling-the-tree," which prevented Republicans from tacking amendments onto the resolution without his permission. Source
FROM LAST WEEK
The Democratic leader of the Senate has introduced a measure asking the wealthy to make a large contribution to deficit reduction. The resolution offered by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Thursday asks lawmakers to sign off on a "Sense of the Senate" that "any agreement to wealthier taxpayers should reduce the budget deficit should require that those earning $1,000,000 or more per year make a more meaningful contribution to the deficit reduction effort."
The measure comes as Democrats argue tax breaks for businesses and the wealthy should be eliminated to help close the deficit. Republicans say such tax increases would hurt the economy.
Reid's bill, S. 1323, is entitled "Sense of the Senate on Shared Sacrifice." It makes a series of findings that set up an argument for why wealthier people should pay more taxes to reduce the deficit.
It notes the median pay for CFOs of S&P 500 companies increased to $2.9 million in 2010, while the median family income has fallen by more than $2,500 over the last decade. It also finds that 20 percent of all earned income in the U.S. goes to the top 1 percent of individuals, and that four-fifths of the income gains over the last 25 years accrued to the same top 1 percent.
The legislation isn't likely to go anywhere, as the two parties have intensified their partisan sniping over the last week on the debt talks.
The legislation is another sign that Democrats and Republicans are no closer to finding a solution to the debt crisis and the related question of how to increase the U.S. debt ceiling. Both the House and Senate return next week, but a path for progress is not yet clear. Source
FROM NOVEMBER LAST YEAR
If you gave Diddy a million-dollar tax cut, how many jobs would he create?
It’s a relevant question, since the Republican Party and their tea party friends are insisting that Democrats capitulate to making permanent George W. Bush’s tax cuts, including those for the top 2 percent income earners. That means that on top of the extended tax cuts Democrats want to offer on EVERY TAXPAYER’s income up to $250,000, Republicans want to grant an ADDITIONAL tax cut to the richest among us.
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