Marketplace Fairness Act

Floor Speech

By:  Mike Enzi
Date: May 6, 2013
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. ENZI. Mr. President, I thank all of the people who have participated, particularly Senator Durbin who has helped to coalesce things, Senator Alexander who came up with the idea for having a shorter bill, only 11 pages--never see it in the Senate--written in plain English, and it is States rights.

This does not cause the Federal Government to do anything. What it allows is for the States to do what they have already passed laws on. I can see this from the standpoint of an individual. I know in Wyoming if you buy something on the Internet and you are not charged a tax, you are supposed to fill out a form and send it in. That is a difficult thing to do, hard to even keep track of. This will eliminate that problem of individuals wanting to pay the tax but not knowing exactly how to do it.

I know it from the standpoint of a small businessman, if they had the experience of somebody coming in, trying on the goods, finding out exactly what they want, the color, the style, the feel, everything, and then ordering it on the Internet. The even more ironic part of it is when they have a problem with it, they bring it back to the local retailer to fix it.

I have seen it from the standpoint of a mayor. I know in Wyoming at least 30 percent and up to 70 percent of the revenue of the municipalities comes from the sales tax. That is on a declining basis at the moment. That is not only what they run the city's streets and snow removal on; a lot of the police, the fire protection, even education is affected by the sales tax.

I have seen it from the standpoint of a legislator as well. I know when we passed those taxes, we did not say: Okay, we want to discriminate against the local business that pays the property tax, hires people locally, and participates in all the community stuff. If you are out of State, we are going to let you off the hook.

No legislator ever passed a bill like that. This is one that corrects all of those things and brings fairness to the marketplace. I think it will make a significant difference, particularly in communities where they will still be able to help out some of the charitable organizations and activities that would have to go by the wayside if this bill were not to pass.

I look forward to working with people on the House side. I wish to thank Senator Durbin, Senator Alexander, and Senator Heitkamp, particularly, for all of their efforts on this bill. I thank Senator Heitkamp for her persistence over 22 years and knowing the intricacies of how it works on the Canadian border, as well as having been involved in the original case where the Supreme Court challenged us to fix this problem.

Today we have a chance to fix this problem. I ask my colleagues to vote for the bill.

I yield the floor.

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