By Erik Wasson - 03/21/12 08:50 PM EDT
The Ryan budget collapses the current six tax brackets into a 10 percent and 25 percent top rate.
“It is not fair to raise taxes on middle-income Americans to pay for big additional tax breaks for Wall Street executives and the very wealthy,” Van Hollen said.
Republicans rejected the amendment as a “gotcha” trick and argued that President Obama has already raised taxes on the middle class, in violation of his election pledges, by imposing a health insurance mandate in his healthcare reform bill.
A separate amendment by Rep. John Yarmuth (D-Ky.) would have imposed a "Buffett rule" ensuring millionaires pay at least the same rate as middle class taxpayers. Rep. John Campbell (R-Calif.) argued that Democrats were engaging in class warfare that could turn America into an "envy" society. This was defeated on a party-line 15 to 22 vote.
The skirmishes over taxes came during an epic committee meeting on Wednesday in which 30 amendments are on the table.