Inhofe, Lankford Join 41 Senators in Encouraging Administration to Abandon Proposed Estate Tax Regulations

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sens. Jim Inhofe and James Lankford (R-Okla.) joined 41 Senate Republicans on Wednesday in sending a letter to  Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew encouraging the Treasury Department to abandon proposed regulations that would significantly increase the estate tax burden on family farms and businesses. The proposed regulations, if finalized, would contradict long-standing legal precedent and greatly discourage families from continuing to operate and grow their farms and businesses for eventual transfer to future generations.

“Treasury should pursue policies that encourage the creation and growth of family businesses and not propose regulatory changes that make it more difficult and costly for families to transfer ownership to future generations,” the senators wrote. “We thus request that Treasury withdraw the proposed regulations and ask that any regulations that Treasury may issue in the future more directly target perceived abuses in the valuation of transferred interests in family businesses.”

Led by U.S. Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.), a member of the tax-writing Senate Finance Committee, and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, the letter was also signed by U.S. Sens. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Dean Heller (R-Nev.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), David Perdue (R-Ga.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Dan Coats (R-Ind.), Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Shelly Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), David Vitter (R-La.), and Ben Sasse (R-Neb.).

Full text of the letter can be found below.