The "Buffett Rule" — the Democratic-authored effort to impose a minimum tax on millionaires — is probably dead for awhile, fatally wounded by a Senate vote Monday.
The 51 to 45 procedural vote failed by 9 votes, since 60 are needed to cut off debate.
But both sides scored political points. Democrats painted the higher tax as a fairness issue. Republicans countered that higher taxes would stymie the already sluggish economy.
Monday's drama, the day before the filing deadline for federal income tax returns, was the opening round of what promises to be a week of congressional maneuvering for advantage on the tax issue. The House of Representatives is expected to vote later this week on a Republican-backed plan to give small businesses a tax break.
No proposal, though, has been as incendiary as the "rule" named for Warren Buffett, the billionaire investor who claims his secretary pays taxes at a higher rate than he does.