Morning Action: House Lawmakers Trying to Develop Internet Sales Tax Legislation

IST.  House members say they have plans to develop an Internet sales tax based on the Senate framework (sub. req’d):

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) 74% said he plans to develop an Internet sales tax measure that would follow the framework of a Senate-passed bill, with revisions to “smooth the edges” of a plan to allow states to collect taxes from online retailers.

The Utah Republican said he is working with Judiciary Chairman Rep. Robert Goodlatte (R-VA) 79% on the plan, which would respond to a Senate bill (S 743) sponsored by Michael B. Enzi, R-Wyo., that would require out-of-state online sellers to collect and remit sales taxes assessed by the buyers’ home states.

The changes sought by Chaffetz and Goodlatte would include language aimed at reducing the complexity of compliance and of potential audits by multiple states, and elimination of the Senate bill’s tax collection exemption for businesses with $1 million or less in gross U.S. remote sales.

OBAMACARE.  The Heritage Foundation explains what’s really going on with the new Obamacare “hardship exemption”:

When the exemption was first announced in December, Heritage experts Alyene Senger and Robert Moffit said this “is not going to simplify anything. Rest assured it is going to create even greater confusion for health insurers trying to sell these products. Also, don’t expect the unhappy consumers who’ve just lost their previous coverage to understand clearly which plan they can pick and be legally qualified to pick it.”

Due to the utter confusion and the underperforming signups on, reporters asked HHS this week whether the agency would simply extend the deadline for people to buy coverage. An HHS official responded that, “In fact, we don’t actually have the statutory authority to extend the open enrollment period in 2014.”

IMF.  House Republicans want the Senate to limit their Ukraine bill to loan guarantees (sub. req’d):

House Republicans are imploring senators to limit their Ukraine bill to loan guarantees, as disputes over a restructuring of the International Monetary Fund threaten to delay passage before next week’s recess.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday afternoon approved draft legislation by a vote of 14-3 that would go beyond the House-passed loan guarantee bill (HR 4152), including approval of a restructuring of the lender that President Barack Obama has requested and that many Republicans oppose.

REVOLVING DOOR.  Heritage Action CEO Mike Needham explains what it will take to restore power to the people:

One of the central challenges facing conservatives is to disrupt the corrupt nexus of big government politicians and the special interests that enrich them. Then, and only then, will power be restored to the people and good conservative policy solutions be allowed to flourish.

DOC FIX.  Lawmakers may have to resort to another short-term patch to avert rate cuts for payments for Medicare physicians (sub. req’d):

The battle over offsets may doom passage anytime soon of the bipartisan compromise bill to replace how Medicare pays physicians, leaving lawmakers to pass another short-term patch to avert rate cuts.

Lawmakers who worked for months to hammer out the agreement bemoaned the state of affairs Wednesday as both chambers prepared to take up legislation (HR 4015) in the coming days. The White House issued a veto threat for the House bill, saying in a statement of administration policy that the offset would “increase health insurance premiums, decrease tax credits, increase the number of uninsured, and shift costs to businesses, workers, and health care providers.”

Democrats criticized House Republicans’ plan to offset the bill’s cost by delaying for five years the requirement that most individuals buy health insurance or pay a penalty. The House is expected to consider the legislation Friday.

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