Republican legislation in the House to repeal the federal estate tax would add nearly $270 billion to federal deficits, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
The office projects the legislation offered by Rep. Kevin BradyKevin Patrick BradyOn The Trail: Retirements offer window into House Democratic mood Members of Congress not running for reelection in 2022 Trump war with GOP seeps into midterms MORE (R-Texas) would result in revenue losses starting in 2016. The CBO and the Joint Committee on Taxation produced the score.
The House Ways and Means Committee advanced the bill in late March, which would amend the tax code to repeal the tax that applies to estates of the deceased. It would also repeal a generation-skipping transfer tax and lower the top marginal gift tax rate from 40 percent to 35 percent.
Under the estate tax, which has a top rate of 40 percent, individuals are exempt if their assets total less than $5.43 million. For married couples, the threshold for avoiding the tax is $10.86 million.
Republicans have been rallying for a repeal of the estate tax, dubbing it the “death tax.”
Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneSinema scuttles hopes for filibuster reform How a nice-guy South Dakota senator fell into a Trump storm Democrats: Don't reject GOP offer to fix electoral count law MORE (R-S.D.) has offered a bill that would repeal the estate tax. More than two-dozen Senate Republicans have already endorsed it, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDemocrats make voting rights push ahead of Senate consideration Hogan won't say if he will file to run for Senate by Feb. 22 deadline Voting rights, Trump's Big Lie, and Republicans' problem with minorities MORE (R-Ky.).
"It is the federal government’s final insult to tax your family when you have already paid taxes on your property throughout your life," McConnell said. "The thought of having to visit the IRS and the undertaker on the same day is an absolute outrage."
Before Congress left for its two-week recess last month, most Senate Republicans voted to wrap an amendment from Thune into their budget that would repeal the tax.
The budget is just a policy blueprint, however, and is non-binding.