Frist slapped again -- this time on estate tax

Blogging from Yearly Kos

I'm sure when Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) mapped out his ideal scenario for June, he envisioned banning gay marriage, outlawing flag burning, cutting taxes on multi-million dollar estates and making the gun people happy by passing an NRA-friendly carry-permit bill.

So far, the beleaguered Frist is zero for two.

The latest defeat came today in the Senate, when a vote to invoke cloture (end debate) on the House Death Tax Repeal Permanency Act of 2005, which would have repealed federal estate taxes on inherited wealth, went down in flames. The cloture motion, which requires 60 Senators voting to end debate and invoke a full Senate vote on the issue, failed 57-41, when the GOP could only strong-arm four Democrats into voting to proceed while two Republicans -- George Voinovich of Ohio and Rhode Island's Lincoln Chafee -- voted with the Democrats to kill the measure.

Frist, who is somehow still full of himself despite a number of major defeats as Majority Leader, pushed forward with the vote, thinking he could overcome objections from conservative Democrats and gain enough support to end debate and bring the bill to a vote -- he was wrong.

"The audacity of the Bush Administration and their Congressional allies truly knows no limit," said Ted Kennedy (D-MA) in a statement after the vote. "In spite of all of the urgent problems facing our nation – from the ongoing war in Iraq, to the devastating hurricane damage along the Gulf Coast that has not yet been repaired, to the outrageously high gasoline prices that are squeezing American families – the top Republican priority is eliminating the estate tax for the richest families in the country."

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