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Update [2005-9-2 17:54:43 by Armando]: Bumped by Armando. I think this is a very big deal.

Norquist's Worries were unfounded:

Senate Finance Committee members were informed this morning that Sen. Bill Frist will move forward with a vote to permanently repeal the estate tax next week, likely on Tuesday, ThinkProgress has learned.

One stands in awe of Sen. Frist's timing. Permanently repealing the estate tax would be a major blow to the nation's charities. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has "found that the estate tax encourages wealthy individuals to donate considerably more to charity , since estate tax liability is reduced through donations made both during life and at death." If there were no estate tax in 2000, for example, "charitable donations would have been between $13 billion to $25 billion lower than they actually were."

Callous, worthless, despicable, heartless.

Nothing is beyond Republicans. Nothing.

Update [2005-9-2 16:57:48 by Armando]: Democratic Leader Harry Reid released the following statement today:

"I am surprised at the Republican leadership's insensitivity toward the events of the last week. With thousands presumed dead after Hurricane Katrina and families uprooted all along the Gulf Coast, giving tax breaks to millionaires should be the last thing on the Senate's agenda. I understand that the Senate shouldn't grind to a halt as a result of Hurricane Katrina, but there are issues that are of much greater importance both to the people directly affected by the hurricane as well as the nation as a whole than estate tax repeal.

“This shouldn't even be a choice. Families have been torn apart and homes have been washed in four states. These victims deserve the Senate's time, not the handful of millionaires repealing the Estate Tax will affect. I once again urge Senator Frist to reconsider his decision. Gulf Coast families are counting on us. They are suffering, and they have no where else to turn. We owe it to them to make their safety and survival our top priority, and we should give them nothing less. Regardless of how one feels about the estate tax, we should all be able to agree that the Senate's attention should be on the victims of this crisis.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 02:54 PM PDT.

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