Grassley blasts Democrat inaction on the estate tax

"Congress still has time to act," Grassley said. "But, I am skeptical that the Democratic Leadership will indeed act... And why wouldn't they? There's $233 billion in extra revenue to spend."

Grassley notes that Democrats have already blocked several attempts by Republicans to keep the estate tax from affecting most small businesses and farmers from being liable the levy. 

"We were doing our jobs, and providing certainty in the law," Grassley said. "Yet, the Democratic Leadership stymied the practice of good government." 

Grassley added: "My colleagues on the other side will gloss over their plans to spend, and instead attack any proposal that includes a tax rate lower than 55 percent as a 'give-away' to the rich... I have some news for my colleagues. A large number of Americans who would be impacted by a 55 percent tax rate and a $1 million unified credit exemption are not 'rich.'"

To prove his point, the senator said that the average Iowa farm is worth $1.4 million.

"$1.4 million exceeds the $1 million unified credit exemption amount that would be in place on January 1, 2011, if Congress does not act," he said.

The senator suggested a 35 percent tax on estates worth more than $5 million might be a doable compromise between the current repeal and the impending tax increase that is slated to happen next year.