Jim McCrery
House drops Democrats' guidelines to pass minimum tax relief

Congress agreed Wednesday to spare more than 20 million taxpayers from the alternative minimum tax this year, bowing to Republican demands that the $50 billion in tax relief not be offset with any tax increases elsewhere. On the last day of legislative business this year, the House voted 352-64 to "patch" the so-called AMT, ensuring that millions of middle-class households -- some with incomes as low as $75,000 -- will be sheltered from the tax's bite. President Bush is expected to sign the bill, which the Senate has already approved. Congress passed the AMT in 1969 to prevent the nation's richest households from avoiding paying income taxes by claiming extensive...