Morning Action: Vote-A-Rama, So Many Votes, So Little Time

VOTE-A-RAMA.  Heritage Action is tracking the Senate’s vote-a-rama via twitter.  We want to give you a quick picture of whether budget amendments are conservative or not.

INTERNET SALES TAX.  The Senate votes on the so-called Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013, which would have complex and negative implications.  We will key vote against this harmful bill:

There is no Internet exemption from sales taxes; in fact, sales taxes are already collected for the vast majority of online sales.  Instead, the proposal concerns the power of states over businesses outside of their borders.  Specifically, the proposal would overturn a Supreme Court decision setting limits on a state’s ability to require out-of-state retailers to collect sales taxes for them, turning every out-of-state retailer into a sales tax collector for nearly 10,000 separate state, local and municipal tax jurisdictions.

GUNS.  The debate about guns will continue after Congress returns from their Spring recess:

Gun control legislation the Senate debates next month will include an expansion of federal background checks for firearms buyers, Majority Leader Harry Reid said Thursday in a victory for advocates of gun restrictions.

The overall gun measure will also include legislation boosting penalties for illegal gun trafficking and modestly expanding a grant program for school security, said Reid, D-Nev. Its fate remains uncertain, and it will all but certainly need Republican support to survive.

Opponents including the National Rifle Association say background checks are easily sidestepped by criminals and threaten creation of a government file on gun owners — which is illegal under federal law.

SHUTDOWN.  The House has approved the Senate-passed omnibus funding bill to avert government shutdown:

The stop-gap measure, which funds government agencies and discretionary programs through the September 30 end of the current fiscal year, won approval in a 318-109 vote, and now moves to President Barack Obama’s Desk to be signed into law. New spending legislation was needed by March 27 to avoid a broad government shutdown.

DEBT LIMIT. Republicans may use debt limit do leverage spending cuts:

House Speaker John Boehner and his fellow Republicans say they are preparing to use the next debt limit deadline to fight for further spending cuts and major changes to federal healthcare and retirement programs.

Boehner’s demand that any debt cap increase be matched with commensurate budget savings sets up Republicans for another fiscal battle with the Obama administration and a possible repeat of the 2011 debt limit brawl that cost the United States its top credit rating.

The government is on track to hit the limit on how much it can borrow around May 19. The U.S. Treasury can use emergency maneuvers so the administration can continue to pay bills such as interest on its debt.

But those measures are expected to run their course in July or August and Congress will have to raise the ceiling again or risk a damaging debt default.

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Be sure to follow Heritage Action's coverage of the Senate's vote-a-rama on twitter. #HAvotes

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Senate will debate expansion of federal background checks for firearms buyers next month.

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Republicans will fight for entitlement reform and spending cuts during the debt limit deadline.

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