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Bob Geiger Donating Member (505 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 10:05 PM
Original message
Senate Shoots Down House Estate-Tax Bill
Edited on Thu Aug-03-06 10:09 PM by Bob Geiger
The Senate Thursday night killed the estate tax bill passed by the House of Representatives last week along with the minimum wage "increase" that Republicans attached to the bill to force Democrats to vote for another tax cut for the rich.

The legislation, a GOP election year attempt at another big tax cut for the wealthy, while also providing them a chance to claim they voted for a minimum wage increase, was killed in the Senate by a cloture vote of 56-42, with 60 votes needed to keep the bill alive and move it to an up-or-down vote.

"This is a cynical ploy on the part of the Republican leadership in an election year," said Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) today in a statement announcing that she would not support the legislation.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) pushed to have the late-night vote done at least partially to clear the decks of yet another waste of Senate time -- the body has voted down estate-tax changes many times -- and to get some work done once Senators return from their August break.

"Its time to put this charade to bed. My side is ready to end this circus," said Reid on the Senate floor. "Lets have a cloture vote right now, so we can get on with business of the American people. The Senate has already spent too much time on the number 1 priority of Republicans - - giving 800 billion dollars in tax relief to 8,100 of the wealthiest Americans. We need to vote, and we need a new direction."

The National Restaurant Association will be crying in their beer tonight as they lobbied hard for the most onerous feature of the House bill: A provision that would force seven states that allow tipped workers to receive the full minimum wage before tips to revert to a $2.13 per hour wage and then count workers' tips toward their employer's full minimum wage requirement.

Ted Kennedy (D-MA), who has long been the minimum-wage champion in the Senate, was disgusted at finding himself in the position of having to oppose a wage increase that he has forced to a vote three times in 2005 and 2006, only to see the bills shot down by the GOP leadership each time.

This Republican bill is a cynical ploy to strong arm outrageous tax breaks for the wealthy through Congress on the backs of Americas hardworking, low-wage workers, Kennedy said. And whats worse, this Republican bill takes money right out of the pockets of more than one million workers in seven states that do not count tips toward the minimum wage. Its a pay cut for maids, waitresses, and other Americans who rely on tips to make a living. It violates the values that are the bedrock of American strength fairness, equality of opportunity, and respect for hard work.

The next move for Reid and Kennedy needs to come as soon as they return from the summer recess -- if not first thing tomorrow -- and it should be to propose Kennedy's legislation yet again and give those Republicans who claimed this week to care so much about working families the chance to put up or shut up.

You can reach Bob Geiger at .
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bronxiteforever Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 10:11 PM
Response to Original message
1. Up or down vote on the minimum wage bill standing by itself!!
Edited on Thu Aug-03-06 10:14 PM by bronxiteforever
Demand it everywhere you go-if freakin Alito the judge was entitled to it , why not the wage earner?
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Frank Cannon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 10:16 PM
Response to Original message
2. NOOOOOO!! Not the Paris Hilton Tax Relief Act!!!!
What will she do?! What WILL she do?!!

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OnyxCollie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 10:29 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Looks like she discovered another way to find relief. nt
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skids Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 10:31 PM
Response to Original message
4. Wrong frame.

Headline should read: "Democrats prevent Republicans from gutting minimum wage."

As much as we have good arguments on the estate tax, the best angle of attack is to point out the other ploy in the bill that would have allowed employers to cut the wages as long as their employees "received tips" even below the level that individual states allow in that case.

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grannylib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 10:42 PM
Response to Original message
5. Can't throw a bone to the working poor without spreading a feast for
the undeserving fortunate few...
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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 12:00 AM
Response to Original message
6. Has there ever been a bigger group of goons...
Edited on Fri Aug-04-06 12:00 AM by marmar
that the current crop of House and Senate Repugs? What knuckle-draggers!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 12:06 AM
Response to Original message
7. The whole thing was a dog and pony show
Expect to see ads across the country claiming "(Insert Democratic Incumbent Name Here) claims to fight for working families. But he/she voted against raising the minimum wage."

Book it.
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DIKB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 10:25 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. Which is why
I called my Senators and urged them to draft new legislation, a TRUE wage increase bill, that wouldn't overwrite current higher state standards. No estate tax-cut, no ulterior motives, no pork.

Take the repukes argument away from them, and expose them for the shameless scum that they are.
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maxanne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 04:02 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. definitely
That's easily countered, however - by asking the Republicans WHY, if they wanted to raise minimum wage, they had to attach it to the estate tax. They could have done the right thing with a stand alone bill.

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what now toons Donating Member (27 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-09-06 04:39 AM
Response to Original message
10. The Senate grows a set, for now.
Yesssssssss the Senate finally grew a set, unlike the House. This bill was such a turkey. Not only was the Estate tax repealed, the really despicable part of the bill was that TIP EARNERS would loose their minimum wage protection, and might even earn less of a paycheck!!! The tips would compensate, the customer would then be in place to subsidize the establishments plans for slave wages. This is the topic of my cartoon that's probably not in a weekly paper near you, Im trying. see it at my website;
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