Democrats in the Senate fail to get the 60 votes they need to move forward with a measure that would set a minimum 30% tax on millionaires and billionaires.
The so-called Buffett Rule, proposed last year by President Barack Obama, grew out of the argument that wealthy people should pay a higher share of their income in taxes than those in the middle class. Its name comes from the fact that billionaire investor Warren Buffett has said he pays a lower effective tax rate than his secretary.
Critics claim a minimum tax on millionaires would hurt small business owners, some of whom file tax returns under the individual tax code. The Senate result was expected; passage in the GOP-controlled House also was unlikely.
The partisan battle has spilled from Capitol Hill to the presidential campaign trail, with Republican candidate Mitt Romney opposing the measure.
In a CNN/ORC International poll released Monday, 72% said they favor the bill while 27% oppose it.
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