Kyl: Little progress made on the estate tax

"I don't think the Democratic leadership has figured out how to approach the whole tax issue, and that [the estate tax] is a big part of it," he told reporters Monday. "Nobody has talked to me about it, and they know that [Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.)] and I are the two that have been pushing reform." 

Kyl and Lincoln last July introduced a permanent fix that eventually taxes estates worth more than $5 million at a 35 percent rate. The measure, however, failed to gain momentum. 

If Congress fails to act before January, the tax will return to pre-2001 levels and slap a 55 percent rate on estates worth more than $1 million. Republicans and most Democrats oppose the change, but so far, the parties have been unable to reach a compromise on the issue. 

Kyl said the notion that Congress could not reach an agreement seemed "impossible." 

"It seems impossible to think that, doesn't it?" he said. "In view of the fact that that would be a result that I can't imagine anyone would like."