By Julian Hattem - 06/19/14 02:47 PM EDT
Members of both parties and both chambers are pushing congressional leaders to move swiftly on a bill to ban taxes on access to the Internet.
The leaders of the Congressional Internet Caucus on Thursday urged the heads of the House and Senate to take up the legislation before the August recess.
The bill, which the House Judiciary Committee sent to the chamber floor this week, would indefinitely continue a current prohibition on state and local government taxes on access to the Internet. The existing law has been in place since 1998 but is set to expire in November.
“The moratorium’s expiration poses a threat to many of the current benefits of the Internet for American citizens,” the lawmakers wrote on Thursday.
The House version of the bill is called the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act and the Senate version is the Internet Tax Freedom Forever Act.
Sens. Patrick LeahyPatrick LeahyOvernight Tech: TV box plan faces crucial vote | Trump transition team to meet tech groups | Growing scrutiny of Yahoo security Leahy wants Judiciary hearing on Yahoo Overnight Cybersecurity: FBI probes possible hack of Dems' phones | Trump's '400-pound hacker' | Pressure builds on Yahoo | Poll trolls run wild MORE (D-Vt.) and John ThuneJohn ThuneFour states sue to stop internet transition GOP senators press Treasury to withdraw estate tax proposal Yahoo failed to prioritize security: report MORE (R-S.D.) signed the letter, as did Reps. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) and Bob GoodlatteBob GoodlatteOvernight Defense: Congress overrides Obama 9/11 veto | Pentagon breathes easy after funding deal | More troops heading to Iraq Congress votes to override Obama for first time FBI silent on pending Clinton perjury probe MORE (R-Va.).
In addition to indefinitely continuing the current ban on state and local Internet taxes, the twin pieces of legislation would also call for an end to the taxes in eight states that had them grandfathered in when the law was first passed.
That could amount to an invasion on states’ rights, some Democrats feared in the House committee this week.
Still, the measure has ample support on both sides of the aisle in both chambers and is likely to sail through the House and Senate when it comes up for a vote.
The House bill has 226 co-sponsors, more than half the chamber, and the Senate version has 50.