Senate Republicans will restart the long-stalled debate over repeal of the estate tax on June 6, with a critical vote on the measure likely to come June 8.
Industry officials, congressional staffers and lobbyists say the Republicans lack the votes for full repeal, and attention now is focusing on a proposed compromise being negotiated between Sens. John Kyl, R-Ariz., and Max Baucus, D-Mont., ranking minority member of the Senate Finance Committee.
Officials at the office of Senate Majority Leader William Frist, R-Tenn., confirmed he will file a motion to close off debate on the bill June 6. Given the votes are lacking for full repeal, Frist has not commented on whether he will even allow a vote on the proposed compromise.
David Stertzer, CEO of the Association for Advanced Life Underwriting, says his group is “heavily engaged in communicating with senators and working with a variety of groups in disseminating our pro-reform message in advance” of the vote.
Meanwhile, Stertzer says, “there are active discussions among several senators to explore a possible compromise.”
He explains the issue “comes down to a volatile mixture of policy, fiscal concerns and politics” and that “it’s hard to handicap where this comes out.”
The AALU priority is “reform that is sustainable,” with Stertzer saying responsible reform would be a $2.5 million exemption and 45% top rate. That would exempt 99.7% of decedents from estate tax liability and is estimated to cost $330 billion over the 10-year period from 2012 to 2021.