While the Senate is likely to pass the Marketplace Fairness Act being rammed through the Senate past the red tape of committees and onto the floor for a vote later today or by the end of this week by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NEV.), House Republicans face a roadblock that they put in place themselves when it comes time to vote for their Internet tax bill: a pledge.
Katie McAuliffe, federal affairs manager and executive director for digital liberty at Americans for Tax Reform pointed out at the Politico-sponsored "Emerging Tax Leaders" event that any member of Congress who took the Grover Norquist / Americans for Tax Reform pledge have to vote against the bill, because it "raises taxes." For those Republicans who signed onto this pledge (likely while running for the office or running to hold on to it) there's no gray areas when it comes to taxes in this particular bill that would give state more power to demand that online retailers collect sales tax - even if the company in question doesn't have a physical location within its borders.
"There’s really not any way an elected official [who signed the pledge] can vote for this," she said. "It’s a problem because opponents can say, 'Hey, you raised taxes.'"
The Senate's version of the bill will easily pass the chamber, according to Politico because almost all Democratic members support it and half of Republicans have backed it as well. One Democrat who does not support the bill is Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.), who is livid that Harry Reid managed to get the bill past his committee which has oversight on taxes...
When asked about the argument that this bill levels the playing field for traditional retailers, McAuliffe said that the tax code "should also be simple, and this isn’t simple. … It’s definitely raising taxes."