'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 Margaret CollinsOvernight Tech: Judge blocks AT&T request for DOJ communications | Facebook VP apologizes for tweets about Mueller probe | Tech wants Treasury to fight EU tax proposal Overnight Regulation: Trump to take steps to ban bump stocks | Trump eases rules on insurance sold outside of ObamaCare | FCC to officially rescind net neutrality Thursday | Obama EPA chief: Reg rollback won't stand FCC to officially rescind net neutrality rules on Thursday MORE (R-Maine) broke rank and voted against the amendment, while Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinPavlich: The claim Trump let the mentally ill get guns is a lie Toomey to introduce bill broadening background checks for firearms Scott Walker backs West Virginia attorney general in GOP Senate primary MORE (D-W.Va.) voted for it. 

The amendment, offered by Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneFlake to try to force vote on DACA stopgap plan Congress punts fight over Dreamers to March The 14 GOP senators who voted against Trump’s immigration framework 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.  
 
ADVERTISEMENT
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 SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersDems ponder gender politics of 2020 nominee 2020 Dem contenders travel to key primary states After Florida school shooting, vows for change but no clear path forward 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.