What: All Issues : Fair Taxation : Tax Breaks for the Rich : S Con Res 21. (Fiscal 2008 budget resolution), DeMint of South Carolina amendment repealing the estate tax/On agreeing to the amendment (2007 senate Roll Call 109)
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S Con Res 21. (Fiscal 2008 budget resolution), DeMint of South Carolina amendment repealing the estate tax/On agreeing to the amendment
senate Roll Call 109     Mar 23, 2007
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Win

This vote occurred on an amendment by Jim DeMint, R-S.C., that would repeal the estate tax. The estate tax is a tax charged on property that's willed to someone upon their death (hence why Republicans often refer to the tax as the "death tax.") Easing or repealing the estate tax has been a priority for fiscal conservatives for some time. Republicans argue that the estate tax hampers small businesses and family farmers; they also say the estate tax amounts to "double taxation."

The amendment was offered to the budget resolution that serves as the blueprint for Congress' budget priorities in fiscal 2008. The budget resolution sets overall spending targets for the Appropriations committees and outlines other budget rules.

"I believe, as many do, this is the most immoral and un-American tax we can possibly have in this country," DeMint said. "We need to eliminate this death tax. It is un-American. This is our opportunity to vote for it today."

Democrats counter that attempts to repeal the estate tax are a giveaway to those who are already wealthy, since the tax affects a relatively small number of people. In order to be subject to an estate tax, the estate being willed must exceed a total taxable value of $1 million -- according to the Internal Revenue Service, only 2 percent of estates are subject to the estate tax.

Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, D-N.D., in a succinct rebuttal, said simply that he opposed the amendment because it would "blow a hole in the budget."

The amendment was defeated 44-55. All Democrats voted against the amendment. All but five Republicans voted for it. Thus, the budget resolution went forward without language that would repeal the estate tax.

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