'Death tax' repeal approved

Greg Nash

The Senate approved a budget amendment Thursday that supports a repeal of the estate tax. 

Senators voted 54-46 on the amendment. Sen. Susan CollinsSusan CollinsElection-year politics: Senate Dems shun GOP vulnerables Swing-state Republicans play up efforts for gun control laws Reid knocks GOP on gun 'terror loophole' after attacks MORE (R-Maine) broke rank and voted against the amendment, while Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinElection-year politics: Senate Dems shun GOP vulnerables Mylan CEO should be ashamed of EpiPen prices Overnight Finance: Senate rejects funding bill as shutdown looms | Labor Dept. to probe Wells Fargo | Fed to ease stress test rules for small banks MORE (D-W.Va.) voted for it. 

The amendment, offered by Sen. John ThuneJohn ThuneFour states sue to stop internet transition GOP senators press Treasury to withdraw estate tax proposal Yahoo failed to prioritize security: report MORE (R-S.D.), aims to repeal the estate tax, sometimes referred to as the "death tax." Under the tax, an estate, or assets, have to be worth more than $5.43 million before they are taxed.  
 
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Thune, ahead of the vote, said "a death in the family should not be a taxable event. ... It also hits farmers particularly hard." 
 
Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersVulnerable NH Republican ties reelection bid to Trump Overnight Finance: Congress poised to avoid shutdown | Yellen defends Fed from Trump | Why Obama needs PhRMA on trade Trump mocks Clinton for stumbling while sick with pneumonia MORE (I-Vt.) fired back that "this amendment is not about family farms or small business. This amendment exclusively the wealthiest 0.3 percent of the families in this country." 
 
Like many votes taken during the "vote-a-rama," the approval isn't binding, but it sets the stage for a decision later in the appropriations process.