Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerLobbying world A new kind of hero? Last week's emotional TV may be a sign GOP up in arms over Cheney, Kinzinger MORE (R-Ohio) vowed on Monday to block a measure giving states broader power to tax online sales.
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 BoehnerLobbying world A new kind of hero? Last week's emotional TV may be a sign GOP up in arms over Cheney, Kinzinger 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 McConnellGOP should grab the chance to upend Pelosi's plan on reconciliation We don't need platinum to solve the debt ceiling crisis The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Democrats argue price before policy amid scramble 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 DurbinDick DurbinSchumer sets Monday showdown on debt ceiling-government funding bill Democrats surprised, caught off guard by 'framework' deal Senate panel advances antitrust bill that eyes Google, Facebook MORE (D-Ill.) and Sen. Lamar AlexanderLamar AlexanderThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Democrats return to disappointment on immigration Authorities link ex-Tennessee governor to killing of Jimmy Hoffa associate The Republicans' deep dive into nativism 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 ReidTo Build Back Better, we need a tax system where everyone pays their fair share Democrats say Biden must get more involved in budget fight Biden looks to climate to sell economic agenda 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 CruzFBI investigating alleged assault on Fort Bliss soldier at Afghan refugee camp The Memo: Biden's immigration problems reach crescendo in Del Rio Matthew McConaughey on potential political run: 'I'm measuring it' MORE (Texas), Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulGOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 White House debates vaccines for air travel Senate lawmakers let frustration show with Blinken MORE (Ky.) and Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioThe Memo: Biden's immigration problems reach crescendo in Del Rio Democrats face bleak outlook in Florida The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Dems attempt to tie government funding, Ida relief to debt limit 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.