House To Consider An Estate Tax Amendment
With this evening's 83-15 cloture vote, the Senate signaled it will pass President Obama's Bush tax cut compromise tomorrow afternoon or evening depending upon how much of the 30 hours for debate is used. A top House staffer told me that one amendment on the estate tax will be considered when the House takes it up Wednesday afternoon or evening. No details were offered, but I would guess we're talking about replacing the Lincoln-Kyl $5 million exemption and 35% top rate with the 2009 $3.5 million exemption and 45% top rate. I'd be surprised if the Senate accepted that, so the question is how long will it take Congress to reach a compromise. It's a tough call. Most of my lobbyist friends expect the desire to get out of town will force final passage of the Senate version without the House amendment next weekend. I'm not so sure. Even if this Congress fails to reach a deal, the 112th Congress would pass the Senate version quickly after it convenes on January 5th.