In the struggle over priorities, it appears that estate tax relief has hit another road block.

President Obama on Tuesday pressed congress to pass a small business relief bill. The President stated, "This legislation should ensure that credit-worthy small businesses owners can get the capital they need to expand and create jobs. It should include needed tax relief, like our proposal to completely eliminate capital gains taxes for those making key long-term investments in small businesses."

While a small business bill had made progress in the House, its future in the Senate has been tied to an agreement on the estate tax. With the break down in negotiation on the estate tax and no other deal in sight, estate tax relief may have to be delinked from the small business relief bill. The President has characterized the small business relief bill as a jobs creation bill. By doing so, he has made it a priority in order to sustain the economic recovery.

This is another example of the difficulty in advancing an estate tax relief bill within the current political / economic environment. As we approach the middle of the year the likely hood of seeing a compromise seems less and less likely.

Source: “Obama urges passage of small-business bill” by Jay Heflin and Sam Youngman.