The repeal of the estate tax, one of the more controversial aspects of President Bush's $1.6 trillion tax plan, has easily survived a vote in the House of Representatives, receiving 274 votes in support of repeal and 154 votes against, the New York Times reports.
While repeal of the tax has yet to be approved by the Senate, the president noted that the vote was "a victory for fairness and a vote for economic growth."
According to the Times, the vote in the House broke along party lines, with only three Republicans voting to keep the estate tax in its current form and eleven Democrats voting for repeal. If approved by the Senate, the tax would be eliminated in stages by 2011.
In recent weeks, a group of wealthy investors, businessmen, and philanthropists, including William Gates Sr., Warren Buffett, George Soros, and Paul Newman, has promoted its view that repeal of the tax would result in a decrease in charitable giving. Countering that view have been groups like the National Association of Manufacturers, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the National Federation of Independent Business, which argue that repeal of the tax will result in increased economic activity and more charitable giving.