A bill proposed last month by Sens. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., and Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., set parameters for debate on a reformed estate tax, which lapsed this year. The plan, which failed to advance because it lacked 60 votes, would have established the estate-tax rate at 35% permanently and would have eventually allowed a $5 million exemption. Last year, the House approved a bill that would permanently set the estate-tax rate at 45%, with a $3.5 million exemption.

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