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'Buffett Rule' Introduced in Senate But Passage Unlikely Amid GOP Opposition
| February 01, 2012 | 02:23 PM EST

A version of President Obama's "Buffett Rule" has been introduced in the U.S. Senate but it faces an enormous obstacle: strong Republican opposition.

Today, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democrat representing Rhode Island, formally introduced what he's calling the "Paying a Fair Share Act of 2012."

If passed, it would require that anyone earning more than $1 million a year, including capital gains, would pay a minimum 30 percent federal tax rate.

The bill provides for a phase-in period for those making between $1 million and $2 million to "make sure that no taxpayer is ever in a situation where earning an additional dollar of income will increase his or her taxes by more than that dollar," according to Whitehouse.

In a statement, he says, "There are lots of advantages that come with an enormous income, and that's great because America thrives on capitalism and we all love success; but paying a lower tax rate than regular working families should not be one of those advantages."

In his State of the Union address last week, President Obama cited Buffett's long-standing complaint that he pays a lower effective tax rate than his secretary does . Debbie Bosanek, Buffett's assistant, watched the speech from Michelle Obama's box.

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