Democrats are finding ways to get around resistance from Sen. Kyrsten Sinema regarding United States President Joe Biden's budget bill by proposing a "billionaire" tax that would target 600 to 700 wealthy Americans to raise hundreds of billions of dollars.
The proposal was made by Oregon Democrat and Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Ron Wyden. The lawmaker said his "billionaires' tax" was a political winner and was a way to make sure that the wealthiest people did not avoid paying tax as they have done in previous years.
Massive Billionaires' Tax
In a statement, Wyden said that the proposal would connect some of the most challenging political communities in the United States. He added that the billionaires' tax would make Biden's Build Back Better much more popular among citizens. Wyden said his aim was to make officials realize that extremely rich people should pay taxes like the rest of the country.
Up until now, similar pieces of legislation that involved wealthy people were the responsibility of Massachusetts Democrat Elizabeth Warren and Vermont independent Bernie Sanders. The two are some of the most passionate liberals in the Senate, the New York Times reported.
The situation comes as Democrats have, for years, argued that wealthy people should be taxed more but have done little to actually hold billionaires accountable. But with Wyden's recent proposal, lawmakers are optimistic that Sinema will show her support for the piece of legislation.
However, it is still unclear whether or not every Senate and House Democrat would be supporting Wyden's billionaires' tax. It comes as many lawmakers have agreed to increase taxes on Americans who were earning more than $500,000 annually and raise the corporate tax rate that large companies paid.
Wyden's plan also aims to address the political chaos that Democrats have struggled with after Sinema's continued blockade. The latter had previously talked with Warren regarding the billionaire tax. Additionally, an advocate for Wyden's plan helped make the proposal popular during her campaign, the Washington Post reported.
Discussions on Financial Legislation
The original plan that Sinema is opposing aimed to raise the corporate tax from 21% to 28% and the lawmaker revealed that she would continue opposing any tax rate increase for businesses, rich people, or capital gains. On the other hand, another opposition, Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia has expressed his wishes that the corporate tax rate is raised to only 25%.
Wyden previously had a call with the administration and the White House where he emphasized the importance of ending the United States' two tax codes. The lawmaker had hoped to show working people that the federal government was finally taxing the wealthiest Americans properly similar to everyone else.
The possibility of Wyden's billionaires' tax passing comes as Democrats have made little progress to unite themselves regarding legislation. The proposals and discussion among left-wing lawmakers include a $500 fund to fight against climate change, $350 billion for child care subsidies and free pre-kindergarten, a new federal program for at least four weeks of paid family leave, a one-year extension to the $300 monthly child tax credit, and funds for healthcare, the Associated Press reported.