House Dems Push for Higher Estate Tax They want to return it to 2009 levels By Kevin Spak, Newser Staff Posted Dec 15, 2010 9:51 AM CST 31 comments Comments House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., speaks to the media after House democratic caucus meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2010. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) (Newser) – House Democrats are likely to pass the president’s tax cut deal, but not before changing its estate tax provision. House resolve to block the bill has largely faded in the wake of a strong Senate test vote. But after meeting with rank-and-file members yesterday, senior Democrats tell the Washington Post that they’re likely to at least hold votes to restore the estate tax to 2009 levels, instead of the more lenient arrangement Republicans negotiated. The deal Obama struck with Republicans calls for a 35% tax rate on estates worth $5 million or more. Democrats want to lower that threshold to $3.5 million, and up the rate to 45%, where it was in 2009, before it expired entirely this year. The change would affect only around 6,600 families, yet raise an additional $26 billion over two years.