(Bloomberg) -- The 99-year-old U.S. estate tax would disappear under a bill approved Wednesday by the House Ways and Means Committee.

The legislation, backed on a 22-10 party-line vote, would benefit about 5,500 families who pay the tax each year plus thousands of others who organize their finances to avoid the 40% tax on estates upon death. It would deprive the U.S. government of $269 billion in revenue over a decade.

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