Norquist Aims to Stop Internet Sales Tax Legislation

English: Grover Norquist at a political confer...

English: Grover Norquist at a political conference in Orlando, Florida. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Christopher Hitchens at a party at th...

English: Christopher Hitchens at a party at the house of Grover Norquist following the CPAC convention in January 2004 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Official photo cropped of United Stat...

English: Official photo cropped of United States Senator and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tuesday, 23 Apr 2013 02:07 PM

By David Yonkman, Washington Correspondent  –

Internet sales-tax legislation racing through the Senate is likely to

face roadblocks when it moves to the House, anti-tax activist Grover

Norquist told Newsmax Tuesday.

“The reason we have a House and Senate is when you rush something

through one body, you have a chance to think it through in the other

body,” said Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform.“We’re

making the case on the House side of either seriously amending it or

even stopping it.”

The Senate is likely this week to pass the bill, which would greatly

expand the ability of states to collect sales taxes across state lines

on online purchases. Under current law, states can collect sales taxes

from retailers only if they have a physical presence in the state — a

store, warehouse, or office.

The Marketplace Fairness Act would allow states to collect taxes even if

the retailer does not have a physical presence in the state.

That’s just wrong, according to Norquist, who describes the legislation

as a massive expansion of taxing authority over businesses that have no

recourse in the matter.

“You should only be taxing people who can vote for you or against you,” Norquist said.

The Senate voted 74 to 20 on Monday to clear the Internet sales tax bill

for consideration on the floor, but on final passage it will have at

least one high-ranking Republican dissenter.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky cited the difficulty

for businesses to comply with the different tax codes in all the areas

where their customers reside. McConnell says that creates an enormous

advantage to large retailers who can afford such costs over smaller


“If states decide they need this revenue, they should keep in mind the

tremendous burden they’ll be placing on the little guys who do so much

to drive this economy,” McConnell said in remarks on the Senate floor.

“In my view, the federal government should be looking for ways to help,

not hurt, these folks.”

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


Examining ‘A Glitch’ In The Health Law’s Tax Credits

English: Official portrait of US Senator Marco...

English: Official portrait of US Senator Marco Rubio of Florida. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Topics: Health Costs, Insurance, Marketplace, Politics, Health Reform

Mar 27, 2013

Reuters reports on a health law consequence that Families USA says needs to be fixed: that millions of “modest earners” could be priced out of health insurance. The Fiscal Times analyzes the current state of play regarding the measure’s new taxes and other moving parts.

Reuters: Little Hope Seen For Millions Priced Out Of Health Overhaul
Millions of Americans will be priced out of health insurance under President Barack Obama’s healthcare overhaul because of a glitch in the law that adversely affects people with modest incomes who cannot afford family coverage offered by their employers, a leading healthcare advocacy group said on Tuesday. Tax credits are a key component of the law and the White House has said the credits, averaging about $4,000 apiece, will help about 18 million individuals and families pay for health insurance once the Affordable Care Act takes full effect, beginning in January 2014 (Brown, 3/26).

The Fiscal Times: $1 Trillion In New Taxes From Health Reform Is Coming
Three years after enactment of the landmark legislation extending health care coverage to 27 million uninsured people, many in Congress and a majority of Americans are coming face to face with a daunting reality. Consumers will face higher insurance premiums, insurers will see a 32 percent increase in medical claims costs, and almost everyone in the upper middle class or higher will pay a slew of new taxes (Pianin, 3/27).

Also in the news, the latest developments regarding efforts to repeal the health law’s medical device tax.

Roll Call: McConnell To House: Move Device Tax Repeal Soon
The top Senate Republican is calling on the House to send over legislation to repeal the health care law’s tax on medical devices, following a bipartisan vote among senators in favor of such a move last week. Appearing Monday evening on the Hugh Hewitt radio show along with Florida GOP Sen. Marco Rubio, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said he thought House Republicans should pass a stand-alone repeal of the medical-device tax to see how the Senate would handle it (Lesniewski and Attias, 3/26).

A Rare Capitol Hill Sighting: 2 Parties Work Together On Health Care

Official portrait of United States House Speak...

Official portrait of United States House Speaker (R-Ohio). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Short Takes On News & Events

A Rare Capitol Hill Sighting: 2 Parties Work Together On Health Care

By Mary Agnes Carey

September 12th, 2012, 8:11 AM

Photo by Jessica Marcy/KHN

The rare sound of bipartisanship was heard Tuesday at the House Energy and Commerce health subcommittee.

Panel members from both parties agreed — yes, you read that right, agreed — on bills dealing with clinical laboratories, recovering payments for the Medicare Trust Fund and pediatric research, among others.

”The bills before us prove that it is indeed possible to work together for the good of the American people,” said Rep. John D. Dingell, D-Mich. Subcommittee chairman Joe Pitts, R-Pa., praised the collaboration of committee members Anna Eshoo, a California Democrat, and Leonard Lance, a New Jersey Republican, on a measure to help the National Cancer Institute’s efforts to improve prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancers with high mortality rates, such as pancreatic cancer.

Predictably, the harmony stopped when it came to repealing a provision of the 2010  health law. Legislation to exclude brokers and agents fees from the calculation of the law’s medical loss ratio, a requirement that insurers spend at least 80 percent of premium dollars on health benefits, fell flat with Democrats.


A description on the committee’s website says that keeping those fees out of the mix “could force agents to leave the market or significantly limit their plan offerings, creating a level of disruption that would quickly destabilize the market and threaten the ability of insurers to continue offering plans.”

Democrats see it differently. They say the medical loss ratio has saved consumers more than $2 billion on their health insurance premiums since the health law was enacted and that any changes would reduce those premium rebates. The administration made a similar announcement Tuesday.

Even as they disagreed with Republicans,  Democrats still tried to say something nice. “I am pleased that my Republican colleagues finally have given up their endless efforts to repeal every provision in the Affordable Care Act and are engaging in a substantive discussion of its provisions,” said Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif.  “That’s a step in the right direction.” Dingell added that he was “happy to see that my Republican friends are no longer trying to take apart the Affordable Care Act.”

The GOP-controlled House has� voted 33 times to repeal all or sections of the health law or to defund its implementation. The subcommittee approved all six bills before it Tuesday on voice vote.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 12th, 2012 at 8:11 am.

2 Responses to “A Rare Capitol Hill Sighting: 2 Parties Work Together On Health Care”

  1. Did the subcommittee take any action on another health-related bill, HR 2595? Thank you!

  2. ollie says:

    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker of the House John Boehner had better not hear about this mischief!

    Rep. John D. Dingell (D-MI) and Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA) had better not be caught in the same room together. McConnell and Boehner don’t have any time for compromise. I don’t think McConnell or Boehner have ever uttered the word. At least not in the 112th Congress.

    Doesn’t Pitts know that’s how Republicans lose elections. Doesn’t Pitts know that Republicans don’t take prisoners. Maybe Pitts ought to ask Todd Akin for a little advice about cannibalism in the Republican Party, huh?

Another Senate Vote To Repeal The Health Law? Harry Reid Says No.

Topics: Politics, Health Reform

Aug 03, 2012

Roll Call: Harry Reid Rejects Another Health Care Vote
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) this evening rejected a plan offered by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to set up a vote on repealing the 2010 health care law before the end of September. “Our Republican friends are hopelessly stuck in the past,” Reid said before objecting to a GOP unanimous consent request. “They continue to want to fight battles that are already over.” Reid noted that the Supreme Court deemed the law constitutional last month, after it was challenged by several Republican attorneys general (Sanchez, 8/2).

This is part of Kaiser Health News‘ Daily Report – a summary of health policy coverage from more than 300 news organizations. The full summary of the day’s news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.

New Ads Promote Health Law’s Preventive Benefits

By Christian Torres

August 3rd, 2012, 3:38 PM

They aren’t campaign ads, but two new television commercials from the Obama administration that promote the president’s health law may also be boosting its image.

The ads, which began airing this summer, tout the law’s preventive services benefits, including coverage of vaccinations, mammograms and other screenings. For many people, these services will now be available through their health insurance without a co-pay or out-of-pocket costs.

“Right now, millions of Americans are using their preventive benefits from the health care law. You can, too,” says one of the ads’ voiceovers.

Asked about the campaign, a Department of Health and Human Services official noted that the health law itself called for an “education and outreach campaign.” Section 4004 says that, along with explaining the new preventive benefits, the campaign should describe “the importance of utilizing preventive services to promote wellness, reduce health disparities, and mitigate chronic disease.”

Opponents of the law have criticized HHS for its spending on promotional campaigns. In May, Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ken., raised concerns over a $20 million contract that HHS signed with a public relations firm.

Their displeasure has not since dissipated.

“It doesn’t take a 2,700-page law that raises costs and premiums, hikes taxes on the middle class and raids Medicare to improve preventive health,” wrote Michael Brumas, a McConnell spokesman, in an email this week to Kaiser Health News.

Portman, who has been mentioned as a potential VP pick for Mitt Romney, sent a letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to request more information about the PR contract. Having not yet received a response, Portman filed an amendment July 31 that would require Sebelius to comply with his request.

Here are the ads, along with transcripts:

Today a mom will see her doctor, a dad will get a screening, a little one will get a vaccine, and a teen will talk with a doc. Right now, millions of Americans are using their preventive benefits from the health care law. You can, too. Not just because there may be no insurance co-pays or out-of-pocket costs, but because of all those tomorrows you want to see. Use your benefits today. Learn more at

It isn’t just your mammogram — it’s your teenager’s first varsity game. It isn’t just your annual exam — it’s your daughter’s wedding. Did you know with your health insurance you may now have some preventive benefits with no co-pays or out-of-pocket costs? It isn’t just your cholesterol screening — it’s all the tomorrows you’re looking forward to. Learn more at

This entry was posted on Friday, August 3rd, 2012 at 3:38 pm.