What: All Issues : Fair Taxation : H.R. 8. Taxation/Vote on Amendment to Keep Estate Tax But Increase Amount of Estate Exempted from Tax to $3 Million (2005 house Roll Call 101)
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H.R. 8. Taxation/Vote on Amendment to Keep Estate Tax But Increase Amount of Estate Exempted from Tax to $3 Million
house Roll Call 101     Apr 13, 2005
Progressive Position:
Yea
Progressive Result:
Loss

In this vote, the House defeated an amendment to H.R. 8 that would have kept the estate tax in place but significantly raised the amount of an estate that would be exempted from the tax. H.R. 8 was a bill introduced by Kenny Hulshof (R-MO) to make permanent the of repeal the estate tax. The estate tax is a federal tax levied on the transfer of estates (money, property, etc.) to heirs upon the estate owner's death. Congress passed legislation gradually reducing the estate tax as part of President Bush's tax-cuts in 2001. The schedule of reductions ended with elimination of the estate tax in 2010, but the elimination was set to "sunset" (end) in 2011. Republicans sought to make the elimination of the estate tax–which they referred to as the "death tax"–permanent, claiming that it is wrong to tax people's deaths and that many people who inherit family farms or small businesses are forced to give them up in order to pay the estate tax. Earl Pomeroy (D-ND) offered a Democratic substitute amendment (language intended to replace wholly the language of the underlying bill) that would have kept the estate tax in place but raised the amount of an estate that would be exempted from the tax to $3 million for individuals or $6 million for couples. Progressives argued that with this amendment, the estate tax would clearly only affect the wealthiest Americans, and the "$300 billion over the next 10 years and perhaps another $700 billion over the decade following" was much needed revenue that could be used to shore up Social Security or the Medicare drug benefit, fully fund federal education commitments and/or eliminate contemplated cuts to Medicaid. (Fortney "Pete" Stark (D-CA).) They further noted that this amendment would ensure that the vast majority of small businesses and family farms would not be affected by the estate tax. Republicans defeated the Progressive position and rejected the amendment by a vote of 194 to 238. Thus, efforts to preserve this source of federal revenue while ensuring that the vast majority of family farms and small businesses were protected was turned aside.

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