On July 30 the House failed to reach the 2/3 vote required to pass the third small business bill (HR 5982) that included the harmful provision limiting the use of grantor-retained annuity trusts (GRATs). The vote was 241-154. The House then adjourned for the August recess and is scheduled to return on September 14.

The Senate will remain in session the week of August 2 and is expected to continue work on its small business bill (HR 5297) pending the outcome of negotiations between party leaders on permitted amendments. Senators Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) and Jon Kyl (R-AZ) continue to press for a vote on their motion to phase in a 35% rate and $5 million exemption indexed for inflation, reinstate stepped-up basis and provide for an executor “election” approach to retroactivity.