|Jun. 29, 2015|
All eyes were on the Supreme Court last week, as they took up landmark cases upholding the Affordable Care Act along with affirming gay marriage in all 50 states. In separate rulings, the high court ruled 6-3 that the language in the Affordable Care Act that states that federal subsidies are only for residents of states that have established an exchange is sufficient to provide subsidies those in states that have no exchange.
The Senate managed to send to the president the much maligned trade package after a tumultuous month of votes. The key vote came on Tuesday, where the minimum number of senators voted to override a filibuster on Trade Promotion Authority and eventually send the measure to President Obama’s desk. The House passed more trade legislation, the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), a popular measure extending trade preferences to African nations. Included in the legislation was an extension of the Generalized System of Preferences, which extends to 2017 trade programs with the developing world that encourages them to open their markets to U.S. goods. More
This morning, the Supreme Court dealt President Barack Obama's environmental agenda a major setback. The high court ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had gotten it wrong in writing its 2012 limits on mercury pollution from power plants. Many believe this could pose a challenge to the EPA as it races to finalize other regulations in time for the remaining year of the president's term. Read more here.
The House and Senate are in recess.More
Item of Interest
This week, as millions of Americans celebrate our independence by taking in parades, fireworks and many other community events, it's important to remember that your local sales taxes have been a major contributor to those funding accounts. Your online competitors do not contribute to these funding needs, and your member of Congress should be reminded of this. Click here and join dozens of ASA members in writing you elected officials asking that they support the Remote Transactions Parity Act and finally level the playing field for brick-and-mortar businesses like yours!More
Congress Should Promote Fairness in State Sales Taxes
When governments levy taxes on businesses or consumers, they should do so in a fair and consistent manner. And yet, when consumers make purchases with online retailers, they do not always have to pay the same taxes that they would pay in their brick-and-mortar counterparts. Originally, there was a very good reason for this exemption: With thousands of different tax jurisdictions in the United States, it would simply be too impractical to require e-commerce sites or mail-order catalog businesses to abide by so many different tax rules.More
Looming Highway Debate Stirs Tax Fight
A fight over raising taxes has bloomed as the chief obstacle to passing a desperately needed multiyear transportation bill by the end of July, raising the specter of a possible shutdown of highway programs. Senate Finance Committee Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, who is tasked with finding a way to pay for a multiyear deal, has ruled out the prospect of raising taxes, putting him on a collision course with Democrats.More
Why Can't the Most Popular Bill in the House Get a Vote?
That was the question Rep. Kevin Yoder asked the House Judiciary Committee on June 25, as he pleaded with his fellow lawmakers to consider bipartisan digital privacy legislation that has now accrued 281 of a possible 435 co-sponsors — making it the most supported bill in Congress to not earn a House vote. Yoder's measure, the Email Privacy Act, would update a decades-old federal law by requiring law enforcement to obtain a search warrant before prying into the content of private emails. More
After King v. Burwell, Senate Could Start Obamacare Votes
The GOP's best chance of knocking down the Affordable Care Act disappeared June 25 when the Supreme Court sided with the administration in King v. Burwell. With the case decided, the Senate could start holding the anti-Obamacare votes leadership said they wanted to attempt when they took the chamber this year. But with a crowded floor schedule, the prospect of tough amendment votes under regular order and disagreement over what budget reconciliation should be used for, it's unclear how Republicans will go about taking those votes.More