Senate GOP tries to spring trap on taxes

Senate Republicans voted unexpectedly Thursday to advance a resolution stating that millionaires should “make a more meaningful contribution to the deficit-reduction effort.”

Republicans joined Democrats in a 74-22 vote to advance a non-binding resolution that would express the "sense of the Senate" that Americans who earn $1 million or more per year ought to pay a greater share of taxes. The resolution required 60 votes to proceed.

Republicans said they voted for the Democratic resolution so they could debate the broader issue of raising taxes to reduce the $1.6 trillion national deficit. 

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellOvernight Healthcare: Dems dig in over Zika funding Business groups ramp up pressure to fill Ex-Im board Senate Dems: No August break without Zika deal MORE (Ky.) said Thursday that he opposes the resolution but relishes the opportunity to force vulnerable Democratic incumbents to take tough votes on raising taxes.

“I oppose the resolution, but I’ll vote to move to it so we can finally have a real debate about ... the economic crisis we face,” McConnell said on the Senate floor.

Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidOvernight Finance: Obama signs Puerto Rico bill | Trump steps up attacks on trade | Dodd-Frank backers cheer 'too big to fail' decision | New pressure to fill Ex-Im board Iowa poll: Clinton up 14 on Trump, Grassley in tight race with Dem Lynch meeting with Bill Clinton creates firestorm for email case MORE (D-Nev.), however, warned that he would limit the Republican messaging amendments.

“If this means a free-for-all and offering amendments on abortion and war fighting and all this kind of stuff, we can’t do that,” Reid said. 

Reid introduced the "Sense of the Senate on Shared Sacrifice" bill last week. It contains no specific recommendations on how much taxes should be raised on high-income earners, and is simply a recommendation that those taxpayers pay more.

Pete Kasperowicz and Josiah Ryan contribued.