By Vicki Needham - 12/09/10 10:31 PM EST
Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) said Wednesday that the estate tax-provision is not negotiable.
Although House leaders focused their complaints on the tax-cut extension for taxpayers in higher brackets, the estate tax was certainly causing some consternation about the deal.
Earlier on Thursday, the House Democratic Caucus rejected the agreement, saying it wouldn't take up the bill until there were some changes, including on the estate-tax deal and on other issues such as the continuation of the Build America Bonds program.
If the Senate passes a bill that mirrors the original agreement, House leaders will be faced with a tough choice on whether to consider the measure — likely one of their last acts before the next Congress, when Republicans will be in the majority.
"The Senate will deal with this bill first, and we're going to have to deal with the product and we have very strong feelings about what we think ought to be in there," House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said after the caucus meeting.
"We want to see what the Senate does."