'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 CollinsDems, greens gear up for fight against Trump EPA pick Medicare looms over Trump-Ryan alliance Senators crafting bill to limit deportations under Trump MORE (R-Maine) broke rank and voted against the amendment, while Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinSenate sets date for hearings on Sessions's attorney general nomination Manchin says he's not talking with Trump about job Stopgap funding bill poised to pass Senate before midnight deadline MORE (D-W.Va.) voted for it. 

 
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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 SandersDemocrats: Where the hell are You? Sanders on Trump pick: This is how a rigged economy works Trump picks Goldman Sachs chief for top economic adviser: report 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.