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In Congress, Complicated Fight to Ease AMT Fears

One of the top priorities before Congress adjourns for the holidays is a bill that would prevent more than 20 million middle-class Americans from having to pay the alternative minimum tax in 2008.

When it was adopted in the 1960s, the AMT was intended to make sure millionaires paid taxes. But it was never adjusted for inflation, so now it affects many middle-income taxpayers, too.

The Senate recently approved a repair to the rule, but it neglected to pay for it with spending cuts.

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NPR National Correspondent Debbie Elliott can be heard telling stories from her native South. She covers the latest news and politics, and is attuned to the region's rich culture and history.