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Senate Blocks Buffett Rule

7:38 PM, Apr 16, 2012 • By MICHAEL WARREN
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The Senate rejected the so-called Buffett Rule on Monday evening. Fifty-one senators voted in favor the tax increase on high-income owners, officially called the Paying A Fair Share Act, while 45 voted against it. But the Buffett Rule failed to get the necessary 60 votes to invoke cloture and end debate on the bill, effectively killing the rule's chances of passing the Senate.

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Only one Republican, Susan Collins of Maine, voted in favor of the Buffett Rule, while Mark Pryor of Arkansas was the only Democrat to join the Republicans in voting against it. Four senators did not vote. The Buffett Rule would have set the minimum tax rate for those making more than $1 million in annual income at 30 percent.

President Barack Obama has been pushing for the rule for several months, naming it after investor Warren Buffett, an ally of the president who Obama claims pays taxes at a lower rate than his secretary. This afternoon, the White House announced its formal support for the bill, arguing that it "will ensure that the Nation's wealthiest people are not able to use tax preferences and shelters to reduce their tax rate below what middle class families pay."

A report from Bloomberg late last week, however, found that some experts believe that under the rule, those making over $1 million would still be able to find ways to avoid paying additional taxes.

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