The Senate on Monday approved legislation that would for the first time allow states to collect billions of dollars in online sales tax revenue from out-of-state purchases.

The 69-27 vote is a major victory for retail groups and state governments, who for years have fought to close what they see as a loophole that allows as much as $23 billion in annual taxes from online sales to go uncollected.

“I’ve been saying it for the past 12 years,” lead sponsor Sen. Mike EnziMichael (Mike) Bradley EnziForcing faith-based agencies out of the system is a disservice to women Senate takes symbolic shot at Trump tariffs Ryan throws weight behind two-year spending reform MORE (R-Wyo.) said ahead of the vote. “This bill is about fairness, it’s about leveling the playing field for brick-and-mortar shops.”

The measure split Republicans senators, as 22 Republicans voted no in addition to five Democrats. Nineteen Republicans supported the measure.

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Supporters said the overwhelming vote in the Senate will give the bill momentum as it heads to the House. They hope to get a bill to President Obama’s desk by the end of 2013.

Opponents, including some well-known conservative groups and the online retailer eBay, have vowed to keep up the fight in the House, where the path forward is less clear. They argue forcing small businesses to play tax collector for other states would be a huge burden, and that the bill would open retailers up to increased audits and compliance costs.

“Today the Senate is voting on whether to take a few more inches off the little guy,” Sen. Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenDems launch pressure campaign over migrant families Senators urge DOJ to probe whether Russians posed as Islamic extremist hackers to harass US military families Dems say new emails show Cohen ‘selling access’ to White House MORE (D-Ore.) said. “I fear that what we’re going to do is crush some of those start-ups. ... This is a deeply flawed piece of legislation, [and] this debate will continue.”

The bill, which is backed by online powerhouse Amazon, empowers states to collect taxes on purchases made online by consumers in their states from out-of-state retailers. Under current law, states can only collect from companies that are physically located within their borders.

Customers who order items online from another state are often supposed to declare the purchases on their tax forms, but few do or are even aware of that requirement.

The bill would exempt small businesses that earn less than $1 million annually from out-of-state sales, and requires states to provide retailers with software to calculate sales taxes based on a buyer’s zip code. States would be allowed to collect taxes on out-of state purchases in six months, to give retailers time to prepare.

“This bill will affect the big boys, retailers like Amazon and eBay ... it does not affect these small retailers,” Sen. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinDems launch pressure campaign over migrant families Kavanaugh paper chase heats up Senate Dems tell Trump: Don't meet with Putin one-on-one MORE (D-Ill.) said ahead of the vote Monday.

Durbin, the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, helped steer the online sales tax bill around the Finance Committee with the help of Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidDem infighting erupts over Supreme Court pick The dishonesty of the deep state The SCOTUS nomination clearly demonstrates that elections have consequences MORE (D-Nev.), another backer of the bill. Enzi and Sen. Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderSens introduce bipartisan bill matching Zinke proposed maintenance backlog fix Supreme Court vacancy throws Senate battle into chaos Overnight Health Care: Anti-abortion groups see chance to overturn Roe v. Wade with Kennedy retirement | HHS watchdog to probe detention center conditions | VA pick vows to oppose privatization MORE (R-Tenn.), both former state officials, were the top GOP backers of the measure.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max BaucusMax Sieben BaucusJudge boots Green Party from Montana ballot in boost to Tester Clients’ Cohen ties become PR liability Green Party puts Dem seat at risk in Montana MORE (D-Mont.), whose state is one of a handful without a sales tax, and others who opposed the bill said it should have gone through committee before coming to the Senate floor.

GOP leaders in the House are unlikely to maneuver around the Judiciary panel, and Rep. Steve WomackStephen (Steve) Allen WomackSenate chairman urges move to two-year budgetary process On The Money: Senate passes first 2019 spending bill | Trump hits Harley-Davidson in tariffs fight | Mnuchin rips report of investment restrictions | Justices side with American Express in antitrust case Fortenberry named chairman of legislative appropriations subcommittee in House MORE (R-Ark.), the lead GOP sponsor of the House online sales tax bill, has said he wants and expects it to proceed through the committee process. The House version has collected more than 60 co-sponsors so far.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob GoodlatteRobert (Bob) William GoodlatteFormer FBI lawyer Lisa Page gets closed-door grilling from House Republicans 5 takeaways from wild hearing with controversial FBI agent GOP lawmaker asks FBI agent about lying to wife over affair MORE has outlined a host of concerns about the measure, though the Virginia Republican and other leading GOP lawmakers have also said they understand the concerns of brick-and-mortar stores. He has said that the Senate proposal remains too complex, and would force businesses to comply with too many different tax rates and systems.

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanGOP leaders jockey for affection of House conservatives Five GOP lawmakers mulling bid to lead conservative caucus On The Money — Sponsored by Prudential — Trump walks back criticism of UK Brexit strategy | McConnell worries US in 'early stages' of trade war | US trade deficit with China hits new record MORE (R-Wis.), meanwhile, has expressed concern that the current bill could expand the government’s taxing authority more than is necessary. Other skeptics, such as eBay, want the exemption to climb to $10 million.

Still, supporters like Jason Brewer of the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) say they are confident that momentum is on their side.

“There are very few things that get this level of support in the Senate,” Brewer, RILA’s vice president for communications and advocacy, told The Hill on Monday. “We feel like we’re in a pretty good position.”

Brewer said supporters were encouraged that Goodlatte wants to take a look at the online sales tax issue, even with his long list of concerns, and say that the support of Republican governors including Chris Christie of New Jersey is going a long way to shore up support.

Bob McDonnell, Virginia’s GOP governor, is a staunch supporter of the bill — and leads a state represented by both Goodlatte and House Majority Leader Eric CantorEric Ivan CantorDave Brat's seat moved to 'toss-up' 4 years after upset victory over Eric Cantor The animating forces behind the Democratic Party are true, radical leftists Divided Democrats are in danger MORE (R-Va.).

“That’s a huge boost,” Brewer said.

But a spokesman for one of the key opponents of the bill, Heritage Action, said the House’s more deliberate action would allow the bill’s foes to make a better case about how the measure would burden small businesses and expand government power.

“There are a lot of unanswered questions still, and that process is going to change how we view this bill,” said Dan Holler, the Heritage Action spokesman. Holler also said that the online sales tax debate could easily get pushed to the back burner, given that negotiations over immigration and the debt ceiling are starting to heat up.

But Brewe said that supporters had an opening to strike in the coming months, given how protracted the immigration and debt-ceiling debates are expected to be.