A friend just e-mailed me all excited about a radio report he heard this morning on his way to work.
"So I don't have to worry about the AMT now, right?" he wrote.
Sorry, buddy. It's not quite celebration time for you and millions of others who are potential alternative minimum tax victims.
True, the Senate did pass a bill yesterday evening that would bump up the income exclusion levels; this would take millions of filers out of the clutches of the AMT. But the Senate solution is different from the version the House passed last month.
And we all know what that means: Conference committee.
Paying for lost AMT dollars: The problem all along with any AMT relief is how to pay for the beaucoup tax dollars that will be lost by taking folks off the parallel tax system's rolls.
Earlier this week, the 31 House of Representative members of the fiscally conservative Democratic Blue Dog Coalition reiterated their commitment to the pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) budget rules enacted when the 110th Congress convened back in January.
That means any tax money that is lost must be replaced somehow, either by spending cuts or other taxes.
"We made a commitment to the American people to reinstitute PAYGO budget rules and restore fiscal responsibility to government and we will stand by that commitment," said Rep. Mike Ross (D-Ark.), the Blue Dog co-chair for communications, in a letter to Senate Democratic leaders.
The Blue Dogs have vowed to vote against any legislation that is not fully offset.
So, as we find ourselves saying so often when it comes to Capitol Hill, stay tuned.
And don't be surprised, as blogged about in this previous post, if we have to wait until the bitter end of the session for it to happen.