WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Republicans derailed a Democratic "Buffett rule" bill Monday forcing the nation's top earners to pay at least 30% of their income in taxes, using the day before Americans' taxes are due to defy President Barack Obama on one of his signature election-year issues.
By a near party-line 51-45 tally, senators voted to keep the bill alive but fell nine votes short of the 60 needed to continue debating the measure. The anti-climactic outcome was no surprise to anyone in a vote that was designed more to win over voters and embarrass senators in close races than to push legislation into law.
"The administration believes that continuing to allow some of the wealthiest Americans to use special tax breaks to avoid paying their fair share simply cannot be justified," the White House said in a written statement.
Obama's tax return shows he earned nearly $790,000 last year and paid an effective tax rate of almost 21 percent.
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