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Estate Tax Fails In Senate, Won't Come Up Again Until At Least September

A cloture motion on proceeding to the bill failed 56-42, falling four short of the required 60.

Senators again failed to find the needed support for legislation that would permanently reduce the estate tax. Thursday night a cloture motion on proceeding to the bill failed 56-42, falling four short of the required 60.

The bill - dubbed "trifecta" - would have exempted most estates worth less than $10 million and would have lowered tax rates on wealth above that amount, increased the minimum wage and extended popular tax breaks.

Upcoming elections forced many members to vote party line. Thirty-nine democrats voted against the bill, arguing that the estate tax reduction added billions to the national debts while giving wealthy Americans a tax break. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., says he's still trying to find a compromise that is less expensive, somewhere in the price range of 50-60% of what a full repeal would cost.

Republican Sens. George Voinovich of Ohio and Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island also voted against the cloture motion. Majority Leader Bill Frist switched his vote to preserve his right to reconsider the vote. Earlier this week Frist said this vote would be the final chance for the year. However, he may again attempt to bring the vote up in September.

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