President Barack Obama and senior Democrats are expected to hold events next week to push for the “Buffett Rule” in advance of a Senate vote following the spring recess, according to a senior Democratic aide.
Sens. Charles Schumer (N.Y.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.) and Rep. Tammy Baldwin (Wis.) held a press call Thursday to tout Whitehouse’s bill, which Democrats see as a “defining issue” this year. Obama is expected to beat the drums for it next week as well.
“It resonates and we think it totally puts the Republicans on the defensive on the tax issue for the first time maybe ever,” the Democratic aide said.
The aide said Obama is expected to travel to events to tout the vote but did not have details on which states he will visit.
The White House declined to comment on exactly how Obama will push for the bill next week.
Nevertheless, the Democrats see it as a salient issue for them even though it is all but sure to fail in the Senate.
Because the proposal targets people making more than $1 million, “it pretty well isolates who the Republicans are sticking up for, and that’s the very rich,” the Democratic aide said.
Democratic leaders have been urging Senators to hold events in their states as well.
Democrats and the White House are contrasting the Buffett Rule with House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) plan to cut tax rates, which they said could only be accomplished by slashing tax breaks that currently go to the middle class, such as mortgage interest and health insurance.
They are trying to make the Ryan plan an anchor tied to Republican presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney, and the Buffett Rule only helps in that effort because Romney himself would be ensnared by it, they say.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, speaks with reporters in the Capitol after a speech on the Senate floor that accused the CIA of searching computers set up for Congressional staff for their research of interrogation programs.