The House of Representatives voted Thursday to permanently extend an inheritance tax on estates larger than $3.5 million, also known as the "the death tax."
And this is no small tax. In fact, it is 45 percent - almost half of the amount relatives would stand to inherit when their loved ones pass on.
Under the House bill, which passed by a 225-200 vote, estates smaller than $3.5 million will still be exempt from the tax. Married couples, with planning, could be exempt from a total of $7 million.
"In America, it's not a sin to be rich nor is it a crime to die rich," Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., said. "This bill gives our nation's wealthiest families the ability to know exactly what their obligation to the nation that fostered their wealth will be, and it is fair and it is just."
Similar legislation is pending in the Senate. But the healthcare debate could put a put a hold on any action on the estate tax before Congress takes a break before the holidays later this month.