The so-called “Buffett Rule” legislation failed to pass the U.S. Senate last night. Named for Omaha billionaire Warren Buffett, it would have put new taxes on the wealthy.

Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, a Republican, voted against the Democrat-backed bill. Both sides expected the measure to fail, which Grassley says made it a mostly-symbolic vote. “The bottom line of it is, it was a political move by the Democrats in the Senate and not a sincere effort to do something about the economy,” Grassley says.

“What we should be doing about the economy is fighting the deficit, getting gas prices down and creating jobs.” The Buffett Rule bill would have required anyone making at least two-million dollars a year to pay income taxes of at least 30-percent. Over time, it also would have applied to anyone making one-million dollars a year.

Grassley says the clock is now ticking on a plan to stave off what could end up being an epic tax hike at the end of this year. Grassley says, “Nearly every taxpayer will be hit by the biggest tax increase in history unless Congress and the president steps in to stop the tax increase and obviously do that by extending our existing tax laws that were first enacted in 2001 and 2010.”

The Buffett Rule would have raised a projected $47-billion over a decade. He says they’ll need to act to prevent the other tax laws from expiring.

“If no action is taken, then this is going to add up to a family of four that might be earning about $50,000 a year being hit by a $2,183 tax increase,” Grassley says. Raising taxes on the people who own businesses is counterproductive, he says.

Small business owners would see taxes increase 17%, Grassley says, adding, 70% of new jobs are created by small businesses so it “doesn’t make any sense to make it more difficult for job creation.”

Iowa’s other Senator, Democrat Tom Harkin, voted for the bill.