WASHINGTON - Encouraged by the presence of an ally in the White House, a bipartisan group of House lawmakers on Wednesday introduced a bill to eliminate estate taxes.

The Death Tax Elimination Act of 2001, sponsored by Reps. Jennifer Dunn, R-Wash., and John Tanner, D-Tenn., would cut the 55% maximum inheritance tax by five percentage points a year for 10 years. The bill would exempt the first $1.3 million of assets from estate taxes; the current exemption is $675,000.

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