On December 3, 2009, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 4154, which was introduced by Rep. Earl Pomeroy on November 22, 2009. This bill would permanently extend the current exemption amount ($3.5M) and top rate (45%). See this earlier post for more on the bill's introduction.
For the final vote results on H.R. 4154, see here. In summary, there were
- 225 yeas, all by Democrats
- 200 nays, 26 of which were by Democrats and 174 of which were by Republicans
- 9 no votes, 6 Democrats and 3 Republicans
Most of the votes were cast according to party affiliations. Surprisingly, the final vote was close. Clearly, there is a lot of support for greater relief.
The prospects for passage of this bill in the Senate, however, are not clear.
See also Stephen Ohlemacher, House votes to extend tax on wealthy estates, Associated Press (12/3/09).
(Special thanks to Michael Hepner for bringing the roll call to my attention.)