August 4, 2006


Senate rejects GOP estate tax, minimum wage bill (AP, 8/04/06)

A bill combining an estate tax cut with a boost in the federal minimum wage, an election-year combination engineered by Republicans, may see another vote this fall. [...]

The Senate late Thursday rejected, 56-42, a bill fusing the cut in estate taxes with a $2.10 increase over three years in the $5.15 minimum wage. The bill also would have revived a host of expired tax cuts, including a business research and development credit and deductions for state sales taxes, college tuition and teachers' classroom supplies.

Republicans needed 60 votes to advance the measure, which passed the House last Saturday.

If conservatives were serious about their supposed view of the Constitution they'd be insisting on breaking the filibuster rules over an issue like this, not just using the meme as red meat for the wahoos on judicial nominations.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 4, 2006 9:02 AM

The Republicans should let the actual filibuster take place. A blowhard senator has to mumble hours and hours and not allowed to leave the chamber. CSPAN would televise the spectacle and show how foolish the senaters are. If the Republicans really want the bill passed, they could make a big deal of it without trashing the filibuster rules. In other words they just have to let a real filibuster take place.

Posted by: ic at August 4, 2006 11:10 AM

SUPERMAJORITY RULE? or Superminority of 4?

Posted by: ic at August 4, 2006 11:13 AM

ic is probably right - which Democrat is going to sweat a true filibuster, especially against a bill that raises the minimum wage?

Posted by: jim hamlen at August 4, 2006 11:20 AM

Note how they say the Senate "rejected the measure" when in fact it has majority support of 56 Senators; the Senate merely failed to pass a cloture vote. That does not reject the measure, which is still up for debate.

As phrased, you can't tell which side had 56 and which side had 42.

Posted by: pj at August 4, 2006 12:27 PM

[snip from interoffice memo]
"...the vote was closer than it may have seemed, and the debate on estate taxes is certainly not over. Of the 42 votes against cloture, one
was cast by Majority Leader Bill Frist (R., Tenn.) as a tactical maneuver to preserve his ability to renew the fight after the August recess. Also,
Max Baucus (D., Mont.), a Democratic (sic) supporter of full repeal, was not present for the vote. Therefore, the actual number of votes in the Senate for this bill at this time appears to be at least 58.

Furthermore, by changing his vote at the last minute, Majority Leader Frist can at any future point in time for the rest of the session move to
reconsider the cloture vote without filing another cloture petition. This leaves opponents of "Trifecta" without a reliable "warning mechanism",
because when a cloture petition must be filed, a 48-hour notice is required under the rules before the vote can take place. Given the Republicans'
determination on the issue of estate tax repeal (or a reform package that is tantamount to repeal), it is likely that the issue will come up for vote again in the fall, and we may have little or no notice before a vote takes place."

Posted by: John Resnick at August 4, 2006 1:44 PM

pj. Sure you can tell. If the winning side is the Dems, it's the lead in the first sentence. If not, not.

Posted by: erp at August 4, 2006 5:45 PM