Senate

Abolish the ‘death tax,’ say Senate Republicans

Greg Nash

Senate Republicans are rallying behind legislation from Sen. John Thune that would repeal the federal estate tax.

The South Dakota Republican said the tax, which opponents refer to as the “death tax,” is punishing Americans “for a lifetime of hard work.”

{mosads}“Death should not be a taxable event. For too long the federal government has forced grieving families to pay a tax on their loved one’s life savings that has been built from income already taxed when originally earned,” Thune said in a statement. “This tax punishes farmers and entrepreneurs for a lifetime of hard work.”

Twenty-seven Senate Republicans have endorsed Thune’s bill, including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.); Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas), who is running for president; and Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.), who is expected to launch a White House bid soon.

McConnell called the tax “unfair” and “anti-family.” 

“It is the federal government’s final insult to tax your family when you have already paid taxes on your property throughout your life,” the Kentucky Republican said. “The thought of having to visit the IRS and the undertaker on the same day is an absolute outrage.”

Senators voted last week to include an amendment that backed the repeal of the estate tax in the budget. Every Republican, aside from Sen. Susan Collins (Maine), supported the amendment, which was also from Thune. 

While the vote wasn’t binding, it did get senators on the record. 

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said ahead of last week’s vote that repealing the estate tax “is not about family farms or small business. This amendment benefits exclusively the wealthiest 0.3 percent of the families in this country.” 

Under current law, a deceased person’s estate or assets have to be worth more than $5.43 million before they are subject to the tax.

Tags Bernie Sanders John Thune Marco Rubio Mitch McConnell Susan Collins Ted Cruz

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