Minimum wage/estate tax bill lives!!!
by skeptic06, Sat Sep 02, 2006 at 03:39:12 PM EDT
According to the Hillyesterday, in the next few weeks, we'll see once more rearing its ugly head the monstrous bill that combined a minimum wage rise with the gutting of the estate tax plus a fair few other tax goodies.
(That's HR 5970, the Estate Tax and Extension of Tax Relief Act, to its friends (few and very rich).)
Where we left the bill was the failed cloture vote (56-42) followed by a motion to reconsider by Frist. (The recess the next day froze the situation there.)
Frist's mouthpiece has confirmed that a rerun for the bill is being considered.
The piece also flags a likely element in his tactics to get cloture:
Aides on both sides of the aisle have speculated on possible tweaks to the bill, particularly the "tip-credit" change that Democrats argued would blunt the benefit of a minimum-wage hike for many workers, but Call said Frist does not foresee changes in the package "at this point."
The tip problem was indeed one that Dems focused on last go around; almost as if it was being designated as the point on which a concession from the GOP would yield enough extra Dem votes to pass cloture.
The Dems would be able to sell it as having won a minimum wage increase, and without the GOP poison pill.
Or one of them. But don't forget, cloture on the estate tax repeal bill - full repeal, no minimum wage hike - failed by only 57-41.
Now, Frist would be offering;
- estate tax gutting rather than repeal;
- minimum wage hike; and
- no worse treatment for tips.
Dems have declared victory on a good deal less than that, I dare say.
On the other hand, the phaseout of the estate tax under current law has several more years to run - no panic measures needed.
And - if cloture fails, the Dems don't get to crow about the minimum wage.
Unless - the piece points out - they can slip in a rider to some handy bill with just the minimum wage hike in it.
It wouldn't be the first time it had been tried (generally without success, I think). But at least it would be offensive action, and give the netroots something to cheer.
When would Frist make his move? Rule 13, the reconsideration rule, requires the motion to reconsider to be moved within three days of failure of the (in this case) cloture motion. But, once the motion to reconsider has been moved (which it has), there's nothing in the rule placing a time limit by which it must be voted on.