Hensarling Says Changing Estate Tax Provision Could Jeopardize Agreement

Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) the incoming House Republican Conference chair, says a Democratic attempt to make changes to the Tax agreement's provisions regarding the estate tax could jeopardize the bill's passage in the House of Representatives.

Hensarling was asked by Fox whether altering the estate tax provision could blow up the plan in the House. "It certainly could. It could jeopardize things," Hensarling said. "If this is the last swan song of the Democrats, if they want to bring down this negotiated agreement, if they want to explain to the American people why on January one almost every single American will get a tax increase, they can explain it to them.

Hensarling responded to comments made earlier Monday by current House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer who suggested the House is likely to vote on the Senate's version of the tax rate compromise but with changes, particularly to the estate tax.

"Everyone in the legislative process thinks they're taking a hit," Hoyer said about the negotiations to get the compromise passed by the time higher tax rates kick-in on January 1st. "There's consternation in the House about the estate tax." But Hensarling countered saying, "Maybe that's the sign of a good negotiation. Nobody likes it."

Noting that extension of unemployment benefits called for in the bill is unfunded in the compromise, Hensarling said "I think Republicans have given up a lot."

Fox producer Wes Barrett contributed to this report.