WASHINGTON — The House of Representatives voted Thursday to give a tax break worth $269 billion to the richest few thousand estates in the country, and add that cost to the federal debt.
Called the Death Tax Repeal Act of 2015, the bill would end the nearly 100-year-old federal estate tax. All but three Republicans voted in favor, while all but seven Democrats voted against. The legislation passed 239 to 179.
The measure benefits only the top .2 percent of the population because the other 99.8 percent of the country doesn’t own enough wealth to ever pay the tax. Only estates worth more than $10.9 million for couples and $5.4 million for individuals fall under the tax. MORE
After weeks of stalemate with Republican leadership over a deal to replace the wide-ranging, across-the-board spending cuts known as sequestration, President Obama has been consulting with a new set of Republican lawmakers — the so-called “common sense caucus” — about the nation’s fiscal issues and the possibility for a deal to resolve them.
Included among the small group of Republican senators the president has consulted on the matter are Sens. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, Susan Collins, R-Maine, Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Tom Coburn, R-Okla., and Bob Corker, R-Tenn., CBS News has confirmed through multiple sources. A White House official also reached out to Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., a Republican Senate aide said.
“It was constructive,” Corker told CBS News, of his conversation with the president.
I just watched Paul Ryan on “Meet the Press“. Ryan is a smart man. It’s quite clear when you hear him talk. [I think he likes to hear himself talk.] But, I digress. Paul answered moderator, David Gregory‘s question with highfalutin talk encumbered by his brand of rhetoric and code words. Does this guy think he’s an ivy league professor addressing his elite students? Is he a wanna be? As I tried to understand Paul Ryan’s answers, I felt that he could be talking like in this video:
Charlie Brown Teacher Speaking
President Obama is planning a news conference Monday at 11:15 a.m. A White House official said Obama plans to use the platform to make his case for Congress to raise the debt limit.
This will be Obama’s final news conference of his first term and comes as his administration readies an ambitious second-term legislative agenda including comprehensive immigration reform, an overhaul of gun laws and continuing fiscal issues.
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Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, joined by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, today hosted Afghan President Hamid Karzai at the State Department for dinner. “This is a great opportunity for us to attempt, in a very humble way, to repay some of the hospitality I’ve enjoyed over the years,” Clinton could be heard saying during a press photo op.
According to Bloomberg, President Barack Obama plans to name White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew tomorrow as his choice for Treasury secretary, replacing Timothy F. Geithner, a person familiar with the process said.
Lew, 57, who also has served as director of the Office of Management and Budget, has been offered the Treasury post by Obama, according to the person, who asked for anonymity to discuss personnel matters.
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By Jeff Spross
This morning on ABC’s This Week, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) reiterated what has become the go-to Republican talking point in the wake of the fiscal cliff deal: That the issue of taxes and new revenue is finished, and will not be re-opened. “Now the question is, what are we going to do about the biggest problem confronting our country and our future,” McConnell said.
But this time host George Stephanopoulos pushed back. He pointed out that since last year Congress has already cut $1.5 trillion in spending, without any counter-balancing hikes in tax revenue until the fiscal cliff deal… FULL ARTICLE