In her Nation weblog, Katrina vanden Heuvel recently sounded off on the shameless hypocrisy of the GOP for linking a minimum wage increase–which would be the first one in nine years!–with a gutting of the estate tax.

In essence, after having failed to get an estate tax repeal or reduction passed in the Senate this year, the GOP is holding hostage the long overdue minimum wage increase , which would benefit seven million workers, in order to give hundreds of billions of dollars in tax cuts to a few thousand multi-millionaires and billionaires! (Minimum wage workers would see an annual wage increase of $4,400, while the average tax break to multi-million dollar estates would be $1,400,000.)

On the eve of adjourning on July 28, Congressional Republicans pushed through the controversial bill in the House. The Senate is expected to vote this Friday, August 4. A very close vote is expected as GOP leaders seek to convince several holdout Republicans and a handful of Democrats to support the legislation. Sixty yeas are needed to shut off debate and bring the measure to a vote in the Senate, where there are 55 Republicans, 45 Democrats and one independent.

Our friends at United for a Fair Economy are urgently imploring all Americans to take a stand against this legislation. With the outcome in doubt, this is an issue in which citizen involvement can make a real difference. So please contact your Senators today. UFE suggests the following talking points, which I found useful in the call I just made to Chuck Schumer’s office.

“Please oppose any legislation that includes severe cuts in the estate tax. Demand separate votes on increasing the minimum wage increase and on extending other tax cuts. There is no way to justify providing yet another enormous tax break to the nation’s wealthiest heirs in the face of huge budget deficits, growing income inequality and looming government obligations for Social Security and Medicare. Vote NO on HR 5970.”

Here’s contact info:

Call Your Senators Toll-Free, 800-459-1887. This connects you to the US Capitol Switchboard – call twice; first ask for one of your Senators, then the other. For each, leave a short message with the front desk, then ask to speak with the Legislative Assistant on Taxes and leave a message there. Or click here to find Senators’ direct DC numbers and here for email addresses.

Send a letter to the editor of your local papers — explain why you support the estate tax and why America should not be giving tax cuts to multi-millionaires now. You can see UFP’s estate tax info and letter writing tips by clicking here and then check out The Nation‘s media database to find contact info for media in your area.