On July 22, 2010, the Senate voted 39-59 against Senator Jim DeMint’s [R-SC] proposal to permanently repeal the federal estate tax.
Sen. DeMint explains the news in his Tweets from 7/22/10:
Senate voting now on my amendment to permanently end the death tax, which could create 1.5 million jobs.
Democrats just voted against my amendment to end the death tax, vote was 39-59 against creating 1.5 million jobs.
Initially, Sen. DeMint was planning to introduce his proposal as an amendment to the small business bill, H.R. 5297, but his proposal was voted on as an amendment to the tax extenders bill, H.R. 4213. Here are more details from Senate.gov regarding the vote:
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Sen. DeMint described his proposal in a July 19, 2010 press release:
Today, U.S. Senator Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina), chairman of the U.S. Senate Steering Committee, announced he would force a vote on his amendment to permanently end the death tax as part of the debate on the small business bill. The death tax rate is zero percent this year, but President Obama and Democrats plan to raise the death tax next year up to 55 percent, allowing the federal government to seize more than half of many farms, small businesses and personal estates.
The new Obama death tax would carry an exemption of $1 million for individuals or $2 million for couples, but it would still have devastating effect on small businesses and family farms. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has estimated that one in 10 farms will be hit hard by the new Obama death tax. According to the Joint Economic Committee, 115,000 businesses were hit by the death tax between 1996-2005, including many small businesses.
(Emphasis added.) This press release led to the following exchange on Twitter between SoFlaEstatePlan and aindik. SoFlaEstatePlan is David Shulman, who is an estate planning, probate, guardianship, asset protection and tax attorney in Ft. Lauderdale, South Florida. Ari Indik is an attorney who practices intellectual property in Philadelphia, PA.
aindik -- @SoFlaEstatePlan If a tax rate goes up while someone is Pres. I think it's fair to say he did it. At least when his party controls Congress. 6:46 PM Jul 19th via web in reply to SoFlaEstatePlan
In the following video, Sen. DeMint discussed his proposal:
Sen. DeMint is up for reelection in November 2010.