The Daily Political reports that there is a move to pass estate tax reform in the Senate with only 51 votes needed instead of the normal 60 to overcome a filibuster. Senator Conrad, Chair of the Budget Committee, and Senator Baucus, Chair of the Finance Committee, are considering making the estate tax law change part of the five year budget plan. This would be passed by “reconciliation”, the same procedure used to pass the health care bill. Reconciliation only takes a majority vote. Hence, none of the Republicans would need to agree.
This is all pretty ridiculous. The Republicans are apparently and rather bizarrely holding out for estate tax repeal. This is not going to happen. The Democrats would not consent. Hence, we would go back to only a $1,000,000 exemption and 55 percent top rate on January 1, 2010, if nothing is done. Therefore, why they are not agreeing now on a $3,500,000 exemption and 45 top rate now is an example of how messed up Congress is at this point.
By Kevin Staker