- ISIL creates all-female brigade to terrorize women into following Sharia law
- ISTOOK: Obama wants to be impeached
- Obama to Latin leaders: Help with border
- Military bans troops from Baptist church event honoring ‘God’s Rescue Squad’
- ‘Pocket drones’: U.S. Army developing tiny surveillance tools for the next big war
- Belgian cafe posts sign: Dogs allowed, but Jews stay out
- Gen. Dempsey: Pentagon studying Russian readiness plans not viewed ‘for 20 years’
- John McCain: Botched, two-hour execution of murderer is ‘torture’
- House GOP ready to move border bill
- Bomb squad called after live WWII artillery washes on Cape Cod beach
‘Buffett rule’ fails its first test in Congress
GOP advances budget bill by 19-18 vote
Question of the Day
House Republicans on the Budget Committee on Wednesday rejected an effort to impose the “Buffett rule” tax on Americans, arguing it would stifle investment without doing any work to lower the deficit.
The vote came as the panel worked its way through the House GOP’s budget, released earlier this week, which draws the broad outlines of a rewrite of the tax code and major cuts to government spending - all with an eye to getting federal deficits in line in future decades.
Late Wednesday the bill barely cleared the committee on a 19-18 vote, with two Republicans defecting to join Democrats in voting against it. Republican Reps. Tim Huelskamp of Kansas and Justin Amash of Michigan, both tea party supporters, said the budget didn’t go far enough.
President Obama and his congressional allies have made the Buffett rule a chief part of their political messaging this year, arguing that it’s a key part of any fair effort to balance the budget.
“Anyone who thinks we don’t have a revenue problem is not looking at this in a balanced way,” said Rep. John A. Yarmuth, the Kentucky Democrat who offered the proposal.
The tax - named after billionaire Warren Buffett, who famously urged the government to raise his taxes so he pays the same rate as his secretary - would impose a minimum 30 percent rate on individual taxpayers with incomes greater than $500,000, or couples with incomes topping $1 million.
The proposal was defeated 22-15, and didn’t even win all of the Democrats on the budget panel. Rep. Heath Shuler, a retiring North Carolina Democrat, voted with Republicans to reject it.
Republicans cited a report released late Tuesday by Congress’ Joint Committee on Taxation, which calculates official revenue estimates for lawmakers, as proof the Democratic proposal was political posturing. The analysis found that the tax would raise about $47 billion during the next decade, less than 1 percent of the deficits Mr. Obama’s budget would produce over that same period.
“This is a political argument. This is not a genuine deficit argument,” said Rep. John Campbell, California Republican.
Democrats tapped the Buffett rule for a number of the amendments they offered in committee Wednesday, and each of them met with defeat. Still, it’s likely Democrats will try to revive the plan as part of a budget alternative they’ll offer on the House floor next week, and Senate Democrats could try to arrange a vote in their chamber, too.
The House Republicans’ budget is likely to drive the congressional agenda for the next few weeks. The plan includes Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s proposal to have seniors choose between Medicare and a set of private plans in a health exchange.
Democrats tried to undo that change Wednesday, saying it broke the government’s promise to seniors on Medicare. But Republicans defeated that amendment, 20-13.
Other amendments to change education, Medicare prescription drug coverage and Medicaid provisions also failed.
Mr. Obama released his budget last month, but it has gotten little traction on Capitol Hill.
Democrats, who control the Senate, have said they won’t pass a budget in the upper chamber this year, though they said they will abide by the upper limits on non-entitlement spending that were included in last year’s debt deal.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Stephen Dinan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Lois Lerner emails reveal gaping open-records loophole
- Two-thirds of illegal immigrant children approved for asylum: report
- Top Justice official denies conspiring with IRS on tea party targeting
- Boehner: No bill on border surge
- Taking Obama to court a long shot but lawsuit not folly, Congress is told
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
President wants everyone but himself to pay more
- U.S. evacuates embassy in Libya amid violent clashes between militias
- 'Pocket drones': U.S. Army developing tiny spies for the next big war
- Rahm Emanuel: Send illegal immigrant shelter kids to Chicago
- ISTOOK: Obama wants to be impeached
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- Obama: U.S. should 'embrace an economic patriotism that says we rise or fall together'
- Ted Nugent loses second casino gig for 'racist remarks'
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
- EDITORIAL: Obama's 'economic patriotism' means higher taxes
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq