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Public Statements

Marketplace Fairness Act

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Ms. AYOTTE. Mr. President, I rise to support the comments of my colleague from Montana on the so-called Marketplace Fairness Act, which is being brought up today on the floor. I previously said it should be renamed the Internet Tax Collection Act because it is going to make online businesses the tax collectors for the Nation. And as the Wall Street Journal pointed out in an editorial today called ``The Internet Sales Tax Rush,'' it actually puts the Internet businesses in a disadvantage to brick-and-mortar businesses in terms of making requirements on online businesses to collect taxes for transactions that the online businesses would not have to. And for a State such as mine, New Hampshire, where we do not have a sales tax, this is also particularly onerous and tramples on the decision that New Hampshire has made to not have a sales tax.

Most important, where we stand right now with the bill pending on the floor, so many times there is so much around here that happens that does not go through regular order. Yet we have been saying on both sides of the aisle how important it is that when we have a major piece of legislation--which certainly this is--that we must go through regular order.

We just heard the chairman of the Finance Committee saying that this is circumventing the committee process, that there has not been a markup of this legislation, and that there are many concerns being raised by online businesses across this country based on onerous requirements this legislation will put on them to become the tax collectors for States around the Nation.

Many business groups are raising important issues and urging this body to go through the regular process, including the Financial Services Roundtable and the Security Industry and Financial Markets Association.

Technet said:

Imposing a new Internet sales tax regime is a tremendously complex issue that should be addressed through regular order starting in the Senate Finance Committee and done in a thorough and deliberative manner.

It seems to me that when you have an issue that will impact a growing and robust area of our economy; that is, online businesses that are selling to the Nation, where we have seen tremendous growth, we owe it to the American people to have this go through regular order.

I have heard the Senate leader talk about regular order. I have heard the minority leader, Senator McConnell, talk about regular order. Here we are again not going through regular order. This should go to the Finance Committee. It should be thoroughly marked up in that committee.

I see Senator Hatch. Senator Baucus and Senator Hatch both believe this should go through the proper committee of jurisdiction so that we can address the concerns raised by so many about the bill and the way it is drafted.

With that, I urge my colleagues to vote against cloture. This is not the right way to do business. This bill, which has very important and negative implications for many businesses in this country and on a very important area of our economy, should go through regular order to address concerns that have already been raised by many business groups.

Mr. President, I ask my colleagues to vote against cloture today.

I will yield the floor. I know the Senator from Tennessee is coming up now, and I know that he too believes in regular order. I hope that he would, at least for this bill, despite his support for it, ask it go through regular order.

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