Karen Kerrigan reports that Sen. Lott filed the cloture petition on H.R. 8, the House-passed Death Tax Elimination Act, this afternoon, and indicated on the Senate floor that a cloture vote will occur on Tuesday, July 11. Between now and then, Sen. Lott will continue to work with the Democratic leader to try to reach agreement on the number of amendments that will be considered. If agreement is reached, a cloture vote may not be necessary.]In that case, the Senate would proceed to consideration of the amendments and the bill.
Sen. Harry Reid [D NV] indicated on the floor that Senate Democrats would be looking to offer amendments on tuition tax deductibility, Medicare prescription drugs, long-term care, "tax incentives," and KidsSave. We assume they would also want an opportunity to consider a substitute and one or more amendments on estate taxes.
Lott's aggressive action, we think, contributed to the firmness in the blue chip and NASDAQ stocks this afternoon. It will help generate discussion about the issue during the recess and make it more likely something positive can be put together that the President will have to sign.