Daily Tax Update - December 14, 2010: Final Senate Vote Expected Tonight

FINAL SENATE VOTE EXPECTED TONIGHT - HOUSE WEIGHING ESTATE TAX AMENDMENT: The Senate is expected to pass the tax cut bill "The Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010" later tonight.  Last night, by a vote of 83 to 15, the Senate voted to limit debate and advance the bill. After the vote, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell warned the House against making any changes to the bill. McConnell said, "We now urge the House leadership to bring this bipartisan agreement to a vote without political games or partisan changes designed only to block this bill's passage in the House. If the House Democratic leadership decides to make partisan changes, they will ensure that every American taxpayer will see a job-killing tax hike on January 1." McConnell added, "Today's vote is a step in the right direction, but it's only a first step. Unless we use it to pivot to the deficit and the debt, we will have only pushed the larger problems down the road. And no one sent us here to do that. It's time to come together to cut the debt in the same way we have come together to prevent a tax hike."

  • The House still wants to make changes to the estate tax provision in the bill. Today, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said, "The House feels that they want to take a position on at least one of the two items that they believe are not productive in growing the economy and harm the deficit." House Democrats oppose extending the Bush tax cuts for high income earners. House Democrats also oppose the 35 percent with a $5 million exemption level estate tax provision in the Senate bill and prefer setting the rate at 45 percent with a $3.5 million exemption. The House Democratic Caucus is scheduled to meet tonight to discuss how to proceed on the bill and discuss any possible amendments. A House vote could occur as soon as tomorrow.
  • President Obama said yesterday, "I recognize that folks on both sides of the political spectrum are unhappy with certain parts of the package, and I understand those concerns. I share some of them. But that's the nature of compromise - sacrificing something that each of us cares about to move forward on what matters to all of us."

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