House Republicans urge leaders to support estate tax repeal

House Republicans urge leaders to support estate tax repeal
© Camille Fine

Rep. Warren DavidsonWarren Earl DavidsonCalifornia AG to sue Trump administration over census citizenship question 2020 census to include citizenship question 25 House Republicans defy leadership in key spending bill vote MORE (R-Ohio) on Thursday sent a letter along with dozens of his colleagues to House leaders calling on them to support a full repeal of the estate tax in any final tax package.

Davidson, along with 53 other House Republicans, asked Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanScalise released from hospital after planned surgery GOP sold Americans a bill of goods with tax reform law Impeaching Rosenstein? Some Republicans are talking about it MORE (R-Wis.) and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin BradyKevin Patrick BradySome doubt McCarthy or Scalise will ever lead House GOP House passes series of bills to improve IRS The Hill's Morning Report: Hannity drawn into Cohen legal fight MORE (R-Texas) and other GOP leaders to reach a deal in the House–Senate conference that nixes the tax.

The House-passed tax measure increases the estate tax exemption to $10 million, indexed for inflation, with repeal after six years, while the Senate doubles the exemption but doesn't abolish the tax.

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"We urge you to seek an agreement in conference that achieves repeal of the hated and economically destructive death tax," the letter says.

The letter touts broad support by the House, White House and taxpayers in their push for a repeal, which they say is at odds with the Senate-passed version. 

“We are concerned about the current Senate plan, which falls short of the long term Republican goal by providing only temporary relief while leaving the death tax in place," the letter says. 

The lawmakers wrote that they are hearing from their constituents who are concerned that the Republican tax plan won't end the estate tax despite promises from President TrumpDonald John TrumpFlynn to campaign for Montana GOP Senate candidate Trump considering pardon for boxing legend after call from Sylvester Stallone Decline in EPA enforcement won't keep climate bill from coming MORE to repeal it.

House and Senate lawmakers are expected to meet publicly next week to kick of the conference committee's work. Most of the negotiating will likely take place behind closed doors.

This year, the estate tax applies to inheritances more than $5.49 million per individual, meaning a person can leave their heirs up to that amount without facing a 40 percent tax.