(WASHINGTON) — As expected, the Buffett rule failed to move forward after a test vote in the Senate Monday. The vote was 51-45, with one Democrat voting against the rule (Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark.) and one Republican voting for the rule (Sen Susan Collins, R-Maine). Sens. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii; Orrin Hatch, R-Utah; Mark Kirk, R-Ill.; and Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., did not participate in Monday’s vote.
In a paper statement, Sen. Lieberman explained that he would have voted against the bill if he was able to be present for the vote Monday night.
“I am not opposed to the Buffett rule because I am opposed to raising income taxes on the wealthiest Americans,” Lieberman said in a statement, “I am opposed to the Buffett rule because it would double to 30 percent the capital gains tax on one group of investors and therefore reduce exactly the kind of capital investments we need to get our economy growing again and create jobs.”
After the bill failed the procedural hurdle Monday night Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., pointed his finger at Senate Republicans.
“Today Senate Republicans again put millionaires ahead of the middle class,” Reid said, “The measure that Republicans blocked today would have restored fairness to our tax code and reduced the deficit without asking middle class families or seniors to sacrifice any more than they already have.”
The “Paying a Fair Share Act” has been dubbed the so-called Buffett rule because of the example used by the administration that billionaire investor Warren Buffett pays a rate lower than his own secretary. The bill would ensure that the highest-earning taxpayers pay at least a 30-percent tax rate.
Republicans have argued that the Buffett rule would just raise taxes on small businesses, the people who could create jobs in the economy and is motivated rather by political purposes.
The bill was first introduced in the Senate in early February by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., after it was first proposed by President Obama in his State of the Union address.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio