Some legislative dope off of the Senate side.
One reason not to count out a successful vote in the Senate on both ending the Death Tax, pension reform and some other tax issues is the number of tax and tax credit issues tacked onto the pieces of legislation by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and House Leader John Boehner.
Frist actually deserves more credit, because while reporters were running around worrying about Republican political failings, Frist and his leadership team were pushing through appropriations bills with far too few earmarks to Senators' likings. Now the Death Tax and minimum wage bill have some earmarks to meet the needs of Democrats. If they vote that bill down, it is doubtful they get a shot at them for the rest of the year.
It is still a 50-50 proposition that they get it through, but the comparatively unlarded approps bills will be interesting to see move onto the floor later this year.
Another byproduct of the minimum wage bill is that some Senate insiders think they will have a shot later this year at some decent fixes to the Medicare system.