WASHINGTON, DC — As reported recently, the U.S. Senate stopped short of joining the House of Representatives in permanently repealing the federal estate tax. Following the news, Dirk Van Dongen, president of the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors (NAW), expressed “bitter disappointment in the Senate’s failure to…permanently repeal the death tax.”

Current federal estate tax law, enacted one year ago as part of President Bush’s tax relief bill, completes a phaseout of the death tax in the year 2010, but reinstates it in 2011. President Bush supports permanent repeal of the estate tax, and on June 6 the House passed legislation to make the repeal permanent.

“This kind of cynical charade isn’t going to fool anyone who is affected by this important issue,” said Van Dongen about the Senate’s vote. “Voters are going to see this for what it is, legislative game-playing that comes at the expense of the taxpaying public.”

Van Dongen also says that voters in Missouri, South Dakota, and New Jersey will have a unique opportunity to make clear their displeasure of the permanent repeal. Senator Jean Carnahan (D-MO), Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD), and Senator Robert Torricelli (D-NJ) all voted against the permanent repeal and are up for re-election this fall.

The NAW president also pointed out the actions of GOP Senators Lincoln Chafee (R-RI) and John McCain (R-AZ) who both voted “to deprive the President of a Senate Republican Conference united in support of his administration’s pro-growth economic policy.” Chafee and McCain were the only Republican Senators to vote against the final version of the President’s tax relief package when it was enacted last year.

Publication date: 07/08/2002