Tuesday, September 26, 2006

FET Reform/Repeal: Update

On September 21, 2006, United Press International carried a report that national Republican lawmakers have turned their focus towards domestic security bills, and away from further repeal/reform proposals for the federal estate tax:

WASHINGTON, Sept. 21 (UPI) -- Republican Party leaders have scaled back their domestic agenda for the fall, shifting focus instead to U.S. Homeland Security issues.

The Wall Street Journal reported the party has abandoned plans to push for further cuts to the federal estate tax and other domestic issues in favor of focusing on reaching a consensus on details of the Pentagon and Homeland Security budget bills.
This report is confirmed in a posting from a contributor to the TPM Cafe Blog, and cross-referenced here on the website of OMB Watch, posted on September 22, 2006, by Dana Chasin, who is a Senior Advisor in its Federal Fiscal Policy group.

His post, entitled, O-for-Trifecta: Don't Extend Yourself, Dr. Frist, states:
Last Friday, the four GOP Senators tapped by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist to find enough sweeteners to get the Democratic votes needed to pass the three-part package (H.R .5970) known as the “trifecta” – a set of popular tax credit extensions, a permanent reduction in the estate tax and an increase in the minimum wage – were due to offer Frist a legislative recommendation. H.R. 5970 fell three votes short in the Senate on a cloture motion in early August.

But no such recommendation issued from them and all acknowledge that the trifecta package is dead, at least until after the Nov. 7 midterm elections.
The posting is long, detailed, and energetic in its viewpoint, but well worth reading.

Based on these reports, we must wait until after the November elections to hear more on the topic of federal estate tax repeal/reform. The results of the elections will affect what we hear.