Senate Republicans have postponed a vote on changing the estate tax, saying they will not vote on the matter until after July 10, when Congress returns from its Independence Day recess.
The decision may be a sign that Republican leaders still lack the 60 votes they need to clear the estate tax bill they support for floor debate.
The bill under consideration, H.R. 5638, “The Permanent Estate Tax Relief Act of 2006,” passed the House Thursday by a 269-156 vote.
“The House of Representatives made tremendous progress last week toward achieving a permanent solution to the death tax,” Senate Majority Leader William Frist, R-Tenn., says in a statement about the decision to postpone a Senate vote on H.R. 5638.
“Now it’s up to the Senate to decide whether it can improve upon the House bill or whether this is the bill that should be sent to the president for his signature,” Frist says. “Everyone should be clear: The Senate will vote on a permanent reduction to this tax — a tax that destroys small businesses and family farms…. The vast majority of my Democratic colleagues have so far refused to address this issue; it’s my hope that their constituents will use the upcoming recess to explain the importance of supporting a reasonable and permanent solution to this unfair tax.”