House Democrats Suggest Counteroffer to Obama Amid Estate Tax Anger

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House Democratic leaders are considering making a counteroffer to the White House and congressional Republicans that would extend the estate tax at a less generous rate, Rep. Van Hollen says. Van Hollen calls the president's agreement to cut the estate tax rate to 35 percent and set the exemption level at $5 million per person an “egregious” change, reflecting House Democrats' widely held views that the provision would benefit only the wealthiest families in America. Meanwhile, the Senate could get to the tax bill in the “next day or two,” Majority Leader Reid tells reporters. Senior administration officials warn that the economy could dip into another recession if Congress does not pass soon a compromise package of tax cuts agreed to by President Obama.