Last week Congress passed the 2018 omnibus spending bill after finalizing the language at the last minute. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, specifically Rep. Kristi Noem, were pushing to include online sales tax legislation, but ultimately the House’s chief deputy whip, Rep. Patrick McHenry, “Signaled…that Noem’s measure won’t be included in the omnibus and hasn’t had enough vetting.”
About The Online Sales Tax Provision
Rep. Noem made an aggressive push to add the online sales tax legislation to the bill last minute. As The Hill explains:
Supporters of the legislation argue that it will allow states to collect money already owed to them and put online retailers on the same playing field as brick-and-mortar stores. They also argue that there’s urgency for Congress to act now, before the Supreme Court acts on a case on the topic this year.
However, opponents of internet sales tax argue it would hurt small online retailers, is opposed by the public and should go through “the regular legislative process” after the Supreme Court rules on the Wayfair v. South Dakota case.
It will be interesting to see how the Supreme Court rules, and how Congress may react to its decision.
What Else Was Included?
While the list was extensive, given last week’s post about California opposing the border wall, we think it’s worth mentioning that, while Republicans were hoping to designate funds to begin construction on the border wall, Democrats didn’t concede. Instead, the bill provides, “Nearly $1.6 billion for border security, but not for an increase in detention beds or federal deportation agents…the deal includes $641 million for new fencing, including levees, but does not allocate money for a concrete wall.”
As you can imagine, there is a wide variety of other provisions in the bill. Politico provides a nice round-up of what made it in and what was discussed, but ultimately not included.
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