Democrats Leave…

Democrats Leave Out Estate Tax

Lawmakers kick off a few more weeks of messaging about extending the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts with a Senate vote Wednesday before House action next week. Senate Democrats, however, will leave estate tax questions that could divide the party.
Both sides want to get rather meaningless votes on their preferred plans. Republicans want to extend all of the Bush-era tax cuts, but Democratic leaders have planned a vote to only extend the current rates for households making less than $250,000 a year. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) filed cloture on the Democrats’ preferred plan Monday, setting up the Wednesday vote.
As in past debates, Senate Democrats will tout their plan as more responsible, and Republicans will decry it for raising taxes. But for Democrats, the $250,000 limit may turn out to be the easy part.
Last week, Reid opted to pull an estate tax extension out of the bill, with a senior Democratic aide saying Democrats preferred to address that issue outside the debate on marginal tax rates. Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) said Monday that the move would kill any chance of seeing the Democratic-favored measure advance in the Senate.

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