House Schedules Death Tax Override Vote For Thursday

By Jim Burns | July 7, 2008 | 8:26 PM EDT

( - The House has scheduled a vote Thursday in the hope of overriding President Clinton's veto of the "Death Tax Elimination Act." Clinton vetoed the bill during a White House ceremony last Thursday. House Republicans hopes to override the veto with the same strong Democratic support that helped get the bill passed in June.

House Republican Conference Chairman JC Watts (R-OK) on Tuesday urged Democrats to buck their party's leadership and help Republicans override Clinton's veto.

"Sadly, the Clinton-Gore administration denied small business owners, farmers and others relief from the onerous death tax. This week we have a chance to right that wrong," Watts said.

Watts continued, "in June, 65 Democrats joined the bipartisan effort to kill the Death Tax once and for all. They understand that it's immoral for the federal government to ask folks to visit the undertaker and the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) agent on the same day."

Watts believes that, if Democrats fail to override the veto, they will get the message from voters on Election Day in November.

"The American people support ending the death tax. Any Democrat that flip-flops on this issue to keep the death tax alive will surely face the voters' wrath on Election Day. I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support repeal of the death tax. It's the right thing to do for tax fairness and for family farms and small businesses," Watts said.

Last Thursday, during a White House ceremony, Clinton vetoed the measure saying it's wrong for families and for America's future.

"I vetoed it not because I don't think there should be any estate tax changes. I do believe there should be some changes. This particular bill is wrong for our families and wrong for our future. It fails the test of the future, both on the grounds of fairness and fiscal responsibility," Clinton said.

"I believe that this estate tax bill is part of a series of actions and commitments, that when you add it all up, would take us back to the bad old days of deficits, high interest rates and have no money to invest in our common future," Clinton added.

Sixty-five House Democrats and nine Senate Democrats voted to repeal the death tax. The entire congressional delegation from Vice President Gore's home state of Tennessee, including Democratic Convention Keynote Speaker, Congressman Harold Ford, Junior, voted to repeal the tax.

The bill would repeal the estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer tax within ten years.