Boehner vows to block online sales tax bill

Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerFormer top Treasury official to head private equity group GOP strategist Steve Schmidt denounces party, will vote for Democrats Zeal, this time from the center MORE (R-Ohio) vowed on Monday to block a measure giving states broader power to tax online sales.

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Retail groups and a bipartisan set of lawmakers believe that the measure could finally make it through Congress in the upcoming lame-duck session, and are seeking to attach the proposal to an extension of a law barring taxes on Internet access.

But according to a spokesman, BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerFormer top Treasury official to head private equity group GOP strategist Steve Schmidt denounces party, will vote for Democrats Zeal, this time from the center MORE won’t allow that to happen.

“The Speaker has made clear in the past he has significant concerns about the bill, and it won’t move forward this year. The Judiciary Committee continues to examine the measure and the broader issue,” the spokesman, Kevin Smith, said in a statement.

“In the meantime, the House and Senate should work together to extend the moratorium on Internet taxation without further delay.”

Boehner’s comments set up a showdown with supporters of the Marketplace Fairness Act, who have promised not to allow an extension of the Internet Tax Freedom Act to pass without their online sales tax measure.

Supporters have pointed to the lame-duck session because Boehner and the incoming Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellFlake threatens to limit Trump court nominees: report Senate moving ahead with border bill, despite Trump On The Money — Sponsored by Prudential — Senators hammers Ross on Trump tariffs | EU levies tariffs on US goods | Senate rejects Trump plan to claw back spending MORE (R-Ky.), have made it plain that they want a productive lame-duck session to clear the decks for an all-GOP Congress in 2015.

“Retailers are adamant that these issues be solved simultaneously this year, and we still believe both can be addressed in the remaining weeks of session,” said Jason Brewer, a spokesman for the Retail Industry Leaders Association. “Most Americans won’t be taking the next two months off, and neither should Congress.”

The Marketplace Fairness Act would allow states to collect sales taxes on purchases their residents make from out-of-state retailers. Currently, states can only collect sales taxes from businesses that have a physical location within their borders.

The measure has the backing of heavyweights from both parties – like Senate Majority Whip Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinDemocrats protest Trump's immigration policy from Senate floor Live coverage: FBI chief, Justice IG testify on critical report Hugh Hewitt to Trump: 'It is 100 percent wrong to separate border-crossing families' MORE (D-Ill.) and Sen. Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar Alexander13 GOP senators ask administration to pause separation of immigrant families IBM-led coalition pushes senators for action on better tech skills training Dems seek to leverage ObamaCare fight for midterms MORE (R-Tenn.) – and easily cleared the Senate last year, with the support of most Democrats and 21 Republicans. Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidAmendments fuel resentments within Senate GOP Donald Trump is delivering on his promises and voters are noticing Danny Tarkanian wins Nevada GOP congressional primary MORE (D-Nev.) also has vowed to do whatever it takes to enact the measure before the end of the year.

“Our goal hasn’t changed and the bipartisan group of senators and the coalition will continue to work to find a path forward for it,” said Ben Marter, a Durbin spokesman.

But House Republicans never moved to take up the Senate bill, after Boehner made it clear in May 2013 that he opposed the measure in its current form. McConnell also voted against the bill last year, as did GOP senators popular with 2016 ambitions like Sens. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzSenate moving ahead with border bill, despite Trump Senate moderates hunt for compromise on family separation bill Hollywood goes low when it takes on Trump MORE (Texas), Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulOvernight Health Care — Presented by the Association of American Medical Colleges — Key ObamaCare groups in limbo | Opioids sending thousands of kids into foster care | House passes bill allowing Medicaid to pay for opioid treatments US watchdog: 'We failed' to stem Afghan opium production Senate passes 6B defense bill MORE (Ky.) and Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioSenate moving ahead with border bill, despite Trump Hillicon Valley: New FTC chief eyes shake up of tech regulation | Lawmakers target Google, Huawei partnership | Microsoft employees voice anger over ICE contract Lawmakers urge Google to drop partnership with Chinese phone maker Huawei MORE (Fla.).

Conservative groups like Heritage Action and Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform have also worked against the bill.

Phil Bond of the WE R HERE coalition, another opponent of the online sales tax bill, thanked Boehner’s decision “to effectively kill the bill during the lame duck session.”

“We encourage both chambers to act swiftly to pass the Internet Tax Freedom Act to protect the public from an unwanted tax as the holidays arrive,” Bond said.

Roll Call first reported Boehner’s commitment on Monday to block the online sales tax bill.