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Elizabeth Warren invites billionaire critic to hearing on raising taxes on richest Americans

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Senator Elizabeth Warren is inviting one of her more vocal critics to join her in the lion's den. The Massachusetts Democrat is asking former hedge fund manager and billionaire Leon Cooperman to air his views on her proposal to hike taxes on the nation's wealthiest at a hearing on Capitol Hill next week.

In a letter first obtained by CNBC and emailed by Warren's office to CBS MoneyWatch, Warren invited Cooperman to appear at an April 27 hearing on creating a fairer tax system, giving him until Thursday to respond. 

Warren wrote that she specifically hoped to hear Cooperman's take on her ultra-millionaire tax that would have households worth $50 million to $1 billion pay 2% of their wealth in taxes annually, while billionaires would be taxed 3% on each dollar above that $1 billion threshold.

Roughly 100,000 families would be subject to the tax, which would raise about $3 trillion over a decade, according to an analysis of the proposal by University of California Berkeley Professors Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman.

"As we move expeditiously toward consideration of changes to our rigged tax code so that the wealthy pay their fair share, I believe you should be afforded the chance to present your perspective directly to Congress," Warren wrote Cooperman on Monday. "The opportunity will allow you to fully air your views, not merely in front of the financial news audience where you often express them, but before the entirety of the American people." 

Cooperman is a frequent guest on CNBC, and last month told the business network's viewers that Warren's proposal is "foolish" and advised buying gold if it were to pass, because "people are going to rush to find ways of hiding their wealth." 

Warren's letter is not the first written missive between the two, with Cooperman penning a five-page screed to Warren in October 2019 blasting her "vilification of the rich" and labeling her policy plans "misguided." 

Cooperman told CNBC he is a "bit suspicious" about Warren's invitation but is still considering testifying in any case.

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