The November congressional and presidential elections play a major role in efforts this week by both houses in Congress to advance competing tax plans that have no chance of passage.
The efforts include a Senate vote today on President Barack Obama's "Buffett rule" proposal to impose a minimum tax on the wealthiest Americans.
The GOP-run House plans a Thursday vote on legislation providing a 20 percent tax deduction for businesses that employ fewer than 500 workers -- about 99.9 percent of all companies.
Neutral economists say neither bill would accomplish much and some political professionals are equally unimpressed with their potential impact on voters.
But congressional leaders are hoping to maximize public attention by timing both roll calls with an eye to tomorrow, the annual deadline for filing income taxes with the Internal Revenue Service.
There could be more such votes later.
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