Senate Compromise Reached on Marketplace Fairness Act

Earlier this week, an agreement was reached in the Senate between supporters of S. 698, the Marketplace Fairness Act (MFA), led by Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). It should allow consideration of the measure by the full Senate before the end of 2016.

This will be the first vote on the issue since the Senate passed the MFA in 2013 by a vote of 69-27.

Since last December, Durbin—along with Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Mike Enzi (R-WY) and other senators—has prevented the Senate from passing a U.S. customs enforcement bill (H.R. 644) after a provision permanently extending the ban on Internet access taxes was inserted during a conference committee with members of the House of Representatives and Senate. Durbin and others have argued that the Internet tax ban should be removed from the customs bill and considered separately with the MFA because it is unrelated to the underlying trade measure and more closely related to the long-term management of the Internet.

The new compromise came as McConnell has worked to pass the customs bill and send it to President Obama for his signature.

NAREIT believes this latest development in the Senate is a positive step toward a successful resolution for the MFA issue. In the House, similar MFA-oriented legislation has to pass the House Judiciary Committee before it can be considered by the full House. NAREIT and its partners in the Marketplace Fairness Coalition will continue to encourage House leaders, including Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), to insist that the full House vote on the MFA this year.

(Contact: Robert Dibblee at rdibblee@nareit.com)

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