On March 22, 2010, Jay Heflin posted Senate estate tax proposal gains steam in the House on The Hill’s Finance & Economy Blog. Heflin wrote,
The plan by Sens. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) and Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) to create a 35 percent tax on estates worth more than $5 million is gaining traction in the House.
One advocate is Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.). . . .
Still, paygo rules prevent the proposal from sailing through both chambers.
Lawmakers need to offset any cost beyond 2009 estate tax law, which is a 45 percent tax on estates worth more than $3.5 million.
Lee Farris posted an interesting observation as a comment to Heflin’s post. In part, Farris wrote,
In 2009, Rep. Berkley introduced legislation calling for a $5 million individual/$10 million married couple estate tax exemption with a 35% rate. The legislation did not come up for a House vote. Instead, the House voted 225-200 to extend the 2009 estate tax law permanently, ($3.5 million exemption per spouse and 45% rate). Rep. Berkley voted for that piece of legislation, see http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2009/roll929.xmlSo I don't see how Rep. Berkley still supporting something similar to her own legislation shows that the Senate proposal is "gaining steam" in the House.
Farris is the Estate Tax Policy Coordinator at United for a Fair Economy, an organization that supports a stronger estate tax. In his comment to Heflin’s post, Farris stated that he supports Rep. McDermott’s H.R. 2032:
I'm hoping that Rep. Levin and the Ways and Means Committee will seriously consider HR 2032, sponsored by Rep. McDermott, D-Wash. It would make permanent the exemption level at $2 million/spouse, and establish progressive tax rates of 45% for estates between $2-5 million; 50% for estates between $5-10 million; and the pre-2001 rate of 55% for estates above $10 million — all indexed for inflation. The bill also includes reunification, portability, and the state estate tax credit. This bill will do the most to prevent growing economic inequality, which is now at an all time high.