The AP reports the spokesman for Senate Republican leader McConnell, Don Stewart, “declined to say whether all 41 Republicans would support a filibuster.” He and Senator Kyl, the minority whip, number two in command of the Republicans, state they polled the Republican senators before they went on August recess and all told them they would support a filibuster. This author believes the reluctance of Mr. Stewart to guarantee they would hold firm shows they know it is very possible Majority Leader Reid can pick off a couple of Republicans to invoke cloture and allow a vote. For example, outgoing Senator Voinovich from Ohio apparently has agreed to provide the one vote needed to prevent a filibuster and allow the small business bill to go to a floor vote.
Hence, Senator Reid has an opportunity, if he has the energy left, to make the effort to bring the Obama tax proposal to a Senate floor vote.
One assumes, but cannot guarantee, the estate tax fix would be part of such a bill. For example, Senator Kyl has been one senator who has put some effort into resolving the estate tax mess. Today, he stated to The Hill that none of the senators are talking about the estate tax at this point.
Also, Senator Lieberman today stated he believes all the income tax cuts should be extended for a year and then the Senate could argue about the estate tax in the lame duck session. Sheesh.
Things are at least getting interesting (or maybe not).
By Kevin Staker
P.S. This blog has set a record number of visits for a day, and the day is not yet over. So at least some folk are paying some attention to the estate tax.