Democrats in the Senate put forth a proposal to delay massive cuts to the Military and other programs on February 14, only to see it rejected by Republicans.
According to NBC News, Senate Democrats put forth a $110 billion package that includes half tax increases and half spending cuts. They want to obtain the cuts by ending agricultural subsidies which would save Washington $27.5 billion and cut the Military by the same amount through 2021.
But the bill has little chance of gaining traction. Republicans wasted little time before slamming the bill. According to NBC News, the bill was dismissed by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell before the details of the bill were released. McConnell told his fellow Senators on the floor:
(It's) a total waste of time. This is not a solution; even they know it can't pass.
The hang up in the Democratic bill is the $54 billion in new taxes on millionaires and billionaires. The plan, dubbed the "Buffett Rule", would require millionaires to pay at least 30 percent of their income to taxes. Also included in the bill is a plan to raise $2 billion more in revenues by closing tax loopholes that oil companies use. The plan does not include changes to Medicare and Social Security.
Republicans reiterated on February 14 that they will not pass a bill that includes new taxes, based on the fact that they have already approved higher taxes in the fiscal cliff deal. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney issued a statement indicating the White House support behind the plan. In the statement, he wrote:
The American people overwhelmingly support the approach Senate Democrats are taking on the 'Buffett Rule'. It's simply unacceptable that the very wealthiest Americans can pay less in taxes as a share of their income than their secretaries and other middle class workers.
Lawmakers have until March 1 to avoid the automatic spending cuts to the Military and other government programs.