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House Defeats Estate Tax Repeal

House Republicans failed to slide a repeal of the estate tax onto a debt collection measure Wednesday, despite using some of the legislative chicanery that has proved successful during their time in the minority.

Majority Democrats defeated the measure, 212-196, on the shoulder of centrist Democrats who voted against the repeal after repeatedly backing it in past years.

The overarching bill, which would prevent the Internal Revenue Service from hiring private contractors to collect back taxes, provided members of the minority a rare opportunity to offer the tax measure under House rules.

Ten predominantly freshmen Democrats voted for the repeal in order to avoid political problems on the campaign trail next fall.