'Death tax' repeal approved
© Greg Nash

The Senate approved a budget amendment Thursday that supports a repeal of the estate tax. 

Senators voted 54-46 on the amendment. Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsPoll: McConnell is most unpopular senator Hillicon Valley: Lawmakers struggle to understand Facebook's Libra project | EU hits Amazon with antitrust probe | New cybersecurity concerns over census | Robocall, election security bills head to House floor | Privacy questions over FaceApp Trump angry more Republicans haven't defended his tweets: report MORE (R-Maine) broke rank and voted against the amendment, while Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinPoll: McConnell is most unpopular senator Dems open to killing filibuster in next Congress Trump nominees meet fiercest opposition from Warren, Sanders, Gillibrand MORE (D-W.Va.) voted for it. 

The amendment, offered by Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneGOP rattled by Trump rally GOP wants commitment that Trump will sign budget deal Poll: McConnell is most unpopular senator MORE (R-S.D.), aims to repeal the estate tax, sometimes referred to as the "death tax." Under the tax, an estate, or assets, have to be worth more than $5.43 million before they are taxed.  
 
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Thune, ahead of the vote, said "a death in the family should not be a taxable event. ... It also hits farmers particularly hard." 
 
Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBiden leads, Warren and Sanders tied for second in new poll Analysis: Harris, Buttigieg and Trump lead among California donations The Hill's Morning Report: Trump walks back from 'send her back' chants MORE (I-Vt.) fired back that "this amendment is not about family farms or small business. This amendment exclusively the wealthiest 0.3 percent of the families in this country." 
 
Like many votes taken during the "vote-a-rama," the approval isn't binding, but it sets the stage for a decision later in the appropriations process.