Schumer: Dems will bring vote on Buffett Rule
(CBS News) On Tax Day this year, Senate Democrats will put forward legislation that would aim to turn the so-called "Buffett Rule" - requiring higher taxes on the wealthiest Americans - into law.
Senator Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., in an appearance on CBS' "Face the Nation" Sunday, said Republicans can expect to see a proposal from Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., on April 15.
"We are going to put on the floor, on Tax Day, a proposal by Sheldon Whitehouse that would enact the so-called Buffett Rule," Schumer told CBS' Norah O'Donnell. "It says those at the top pay 30 percent regardless of their deductions."
Billionaire Warren Buffett has become something of a symbol for the left on the matter of tax reform in recent months due to his urging that the wealthiest Americans - himself included - be taxed at a higher rate than the current tax code demands.
Buffett expressed this opinion in an op-ed last year, and the Obama administration quickly seized on it as part of its agenda for overhauling the tax code. The proposed "Buffett Rule," as the White House calls it, would implement a minimum 30 percent tax rate for anyone making more than $1 million per year.
Currently, most investment income from capital gains and dividends is typically taxed at a maximum rate of 15 percent. This would increase the tax rates for many wealthy Americans who earn most of their income in investments rather than salaries.
While most Democrats have embraced the Buffett Rule, Republicans have largely resisted the idea, often decrying it as "class warfare" against the wealthy.
Schumer argued Sunday that cuts included in Republican Rep. Paul Ryan's recently-unveiled budget proposal would come at the expense of the middle class "if you don't raise capital gains and dividends - which it's Republican watch words never to raise those."
As a result, he says, Senate Democrats will force Republicans to go on the record with regard to their position on raising taxes for America's highest earners.
"The rule is very simple," Schumer said. "You should, if you're very wealthy - God bless you, if you made a lot of money we love you in America - but let's be fair, you should pay more than your secretary. And that will be on the floor April 15th, Tax Day."
It's unclear whether or not such a proposal would have the votes to pass in the Senate. Regardless, it would likely get shot down in the House of Representatives (if it were even brought up for a vote in that GOP-led body).
- Lucy Madison
Lucy Madison is a political reporter for CBSNews.com.Follow on Twitter »
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