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House Ways and Means Chairman Rangel says he is drafting legislation to make permanent the current estate tax law so that tax writers will be ready to put forth their proposal when a break presents itself in the House floor schedule. Rangel says a “high priority” is making permanent the current estate tax exemption amount of $3.5 million for 2009, and the maximum tax rate of 45 percent. The Senate could hold a cloture vote Tuesday on a motion to proceed to consideration of an unemployment insurance extension. One amendment expected on the floor is authored by Majority Leader Reid and would make a number of substantive changes to the Internal Revenue Code. Efforts to marry the two different health care reform bills in the Senate are proceeding smoothly, but will not result in a bill that is ready for floor action before the first week of November, Senate negotiators say.
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