Senate Commerce Committee Ranking Republican John McCain, Ariz., today urged Senate Majority Leader Thomas Daschle, D-S.D. to support a House-led two-year extension to a moribund ban on taxes that specifically target the Internet.
McCain urged Daschle to support a two-year extension of the Internet Tax Freedom Act, a three-year moratorium on new and discriminatory Internet taxes set to expire on Sunday, Oct. 21.
McCain wants the Senate leader to take up H.R. 1552, a measure passed by the House Judiciary Committee last week to extend the current ban by two years. The House is expected to vote on the measure on Tuesday under suspension of the rules, meaning the bill will pass on a voice vote unless a member wants a roll call vote. In that case, it would need to win the support of two-thirds of the House for passage.
House and Senate lawmakers have been unable to agree whether the moratorium extension should be tied to measures that would allow states to tax remote online sales.
"I believe this is an appropriate length of time during which states and businesses can make significant progress toward creating a simplified remote sales tax collection regime, while permitting Congress to focus on other important priorities in the interim," McCain wrote in a letter to the majority leader.
McCain added that the National Conference of state Legislatures - a key states' rights group - has now endorsed the two-year extension contained in H.R. 1552.
Sens. John Breaux, D-La., and Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, have thrown their support behind a bill introduced by Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., to extend the moratorium until next summer, when Congress would again take up the issue of remote sales.
Sens. George Allen, R-Va., Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., Conrad Burns, R-Mont., and Judd Gregg, R-N.H. recently introduced a bill favoring a five-year extension.
--Reported by Brian Krebs, Newsbytes.com, http://www.newsbytes.com .