Boehner vows to block online sales tax bill

Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerBlue wave poses governing risks for Dems Nancy Pelosi: Will she remain the ‘Face of the Franchise’? Jordan hits campaign trail amid bid for Speaker MORE (R-Ohio) vowed on Monday to block a measure giving states broader power to tax online sales.

ADVERTISEMENT

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 BoehnerBlue wave poses governing risks for Dems Nancy Pelosi: Will she remain the ‘Face of the Franchise’? Jordan hits campaign trail amid bid for Speaker 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 McConnellDoug Jones to McConnell: Don't 'plow right through' with Kavanaugh Kavanaugh accuser agrees to testify next week GOP, Kavanaugh accuser struggle to reach deal 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 DurbinGrassley to administration: You must consult Congress on refugee cap Overnight Health Care: Senators target surprise medical bills | Group looks to allow Medicaid funds for substance abuse programs | FDA launches anti-vaping campaign for teens Bipartisan group wants to lift Medicaid restriction on substance abuse treatment MORE (D-Ill.) and Sen. Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderOvernight Health Care: Senators target surprise medical bills | Group looks to allow Medicaid funds for substance abuse programs | FDA launches anti-vaping campaign for teens The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — Kavanaugh confirmation in sudden turmoil Cruz gets help from Senate GOP in face of serious challenge from O’Rourke 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 ReidKavanaugh furor intensifies as calls for new testimony grow Dems can’t ‘Bork’ Kavanaugh, and have only themselves to blame Dem senator: Confidential documents would 'strongly bolster' argument against Kavanaugh's nomination 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 CruzViral video shows O’Rourke air-drumming to the Who’s ‘Baba O’Riley’ after Cruz debate Five takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's fiery first debate NY Times, McCabe give Trump perfect cover to fire Rosenstein, Sessions MORE (Texas), Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulConservatives left frustrated as Congress passes big spending bills Senate approves 4B spending bill Some employees' personal data revealed in State Department email breach: report MORE (Ky.) and Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioNikki Haley: New York Times ‘knew the facts’ about curtains and still released story March For Our Lives founder leaves group, says he regrets trying to 'embarrass' Rubio Rubio unloads on Turkish chef for 'feasting' Venezuela's Maduro: 'I got pissed' 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.