By Vicki Needham - 12/16/10 11:15 PM EST
The House has restarted debate on the $858 billion tax agreement and will consider a rule for debate that allows for two votes, one on raising the estate tax and another on passage of the bill.
An earlier rule created some confusion — a vote for the amendment to increase the estate-tax rate to 45 percent and lower the exemption to $3.5 million also was deemed a vote on final passage.
House Rules Chairwoman Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) said the new rule, which will be changed on the floor, allows for a vote on the full tax-cut plan if the estate-tax amendment is approved.
If the House votes down the estate-tax amendment, a vote on the Senate-passed bill would follow.
The bill could still be passed after just a few hours, but it might be after midnight, according to a Democratic aide.