"WASHINGTON - A decade-long drive to repeal the estate tax permanently is about to come to a head, but proponents are finding it surprisingly difficult to get their political football into the end zone.It's an ill wind . . .
The repeal proposal might be an indirect casualty of Hurricane Katrina, which forced Senate leaders to postpone a vote on the plan in September, when hopes it would pass were high.
Now, with the Senate poised to vote as early as this week, even some of the most ardent supporters of estate-tax repeal predict they will come up short. Some of them are pushing an alternative that would reduce but not eliminate the tax.
Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., a longtime estate-tax critic, is urging a tactical retreat because he thinks support for permanent repeal is eroding at a time of big budget deficits. And he fears that the political climate would be even less hospitable after the 2006 elections if Democrats win control of either the House or the Senate."
(I know, that cliche is getting pretty tired, but killing the repeal of the estate tax is some consolation for Katrina. Not much, but some.)