Washington Weekly
Jul. 21, 2014

Last Week

The House took another step toward making permanent tax provisions that expired at the end of 2013. They extended and expanded the charitable deduction for contributions of food inventory. In addition, they passed appropriations for the Department of the Treasury, which includes agencies such as the IRS, General Services Administration, FDIC, and the Small Business Administration, among others. They also passed legislation extending a current moratorium on Internet service. The Senate passed a reauthorization of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act and approved several nominations.More

This Week

With only nine legislative days remaining until the August recess, the House and Senate will meet for a busy two weeks. The House will take up a number of bills regarding education, such as the Empowering Students Through Counseling Act and the Child Tax Improvement Act, among others. In addition, the House will continue examining the President's request for emergency appropriations for the southern border, along with the actions in the Middle East. The Senate will spend the week working on executive branch nominations and continue working with the House to find an agreement on Veterans Administration reforms, as well as possibly taking up the House-passed Highway Trust Fund patch.More

Item of Interest

While the House extended a moratorium to make access to the Internet and email tax free, regrettably, they did not address a key business priority of leveling the playing field between brick and mortar businesses and those that are Internet-only. Luckily, leaders in the Senate have taken up this cause and introduced the Marketplace and Internet Tax Freedom Act to couple the Internet tax moratorium with the Marketplace Fairness Act to finally level the playing field. ASA will be working through the summer and fall to urge action on this legislation once and for all. Look for opportunities to use your voice; to learn more, click here.More

Senators Renew Internet Sales Tax Push
The Hill
Senators seeking to give states broader latitude to charge sales taxes on Internet purchases are preparing a last-ditch effort to pass legislation through Congress before the midterm elections. A bipartisan group of lawmakers has been pushing such a fix for years, insisting it would level the playing field between brick-and-mortar and online retailers.More

Democratic Leaders Plan to Bypass Wyden on Internet Sales Tax Combo Bill
Roll Call
Senate Democratic leaders plan to do an end run around Senate Finance Chairman Ron Wyden and combine House-passed legislation extending a moratorium on taxing Internet access with a Senate-passed proposal to require online retailers to collect sales tax.More

Republicans Separate in IRS Probe
Two House Republican chairmen leading the charge against former IRS official Lois Lerner used to interview witnesses together, but now they're calling in the IRS workers separately. Republicans say the shift is meaningless. But Democrats are seizing it, calling it another reminder that the scandal is more about politics than substance.More

Is It Time to Declare the Death of Emergency Unemployment Insurance?
Democrats in Congress and a handful of Republican senators have striven over the last seven months to renew emergency unemployment benefits for the millions of American workers who have been living without a job for more than six months. But last week, once again, House Republicans pulled the rug out from under them, leaving prospects for the program's continuation at an all-time low.More