GOP tax-writers roll out estate tax repeal bill

Congress, in the deal to avoid the fiscal cliff signed early this year, permanently placed the estate tax rate at 40 percent, and the exemption at an inflation-indexed $5 million.

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But top Republicans remain steadfast in their interest in repealing the tax, with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBiden: 'No party should have too much power' Overnight Energy: Pelosi vows bold action to counter 'existential' climate threat | Trump jokes new light bulbs don't make him look as good | 'Forever chemicals' measure pulled from defense bill Overnight Health Care — Presented by Johnson & Johnson – House progressives may try to block vote on Pelosi drug bill | McConnell, Grassley at odds over Trump-backed drug pricing bill | Lawmakers close to deal on surprise medical bills MORE (Ky.) and the top Republican at Senate Finance, Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchKey Republicans say Biden can break Washington gridlock Trump awards Medal of Freedom to racing industry icon Roger Penske Trump holds more Medal of Freedom ceremonies than predecessors but awards fewer medals MORE (Utah), appearing at a Wednesday event on the matter.

“What kind of government swoops in upon your death and takes nearly half of the nest egg you’ve spent your entire life building?” Brady, a senior member of House Ways and Means, said in a statement.

President Obama called for raising the estate tax rate to 45 percent in his most recent budget, with the exemption dropping to $3.5 million.

The Tax Policy Center has estimated that the indexed $5 million exemption would affect about 8,700 tax returns in 2013, while the $3.5 million exemption would ensnare about 15,300.

Thune's Senate bill has more than two dozen GOP co-sponsors, while Brady's bill has almost a dozen – and one Democrat, Rep. Mike McIntyre (N.C.).