A Republican effort to pass a bill cutting taxes on estate inheritance, by piggybacking the measure on top of a minimum wage increase, failed on the eve of the Senate's four-week summer recess.

The bill failed by a 56-42 vote. The GOP had needed 60 votes to move the bill forward, after the House passed the measure a week earlier. Four Democrats joined Republicans in voting for the bill -- Robert Byrd of West Virginia, Ben Nelson of Nebraska, Bill Nelson of Florida, and Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas. Two Republicans voted against the bill -- Rhode Island's Lincoln Chafee and Ohio's George Voinovich of Ohio.

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