Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 11, 2016

Cruz Decries Forcing Texans to Support Bloomberg’s ‘Nanny Statism’

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Even though the outcome is not in doubt, senators and outside groups are making their final pitches for and against a Senate plan to allow states to collect sales taxes for Internet purchases.

Freshman GOP Sen. Ted Cruz, for instance, is among those arguing the bill is effectively a tax increase on consumers.

“How is it fair for a Texas business to collect taxes to support California Gov. Jerry Brown’s big spending? Or to underwrite New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s nanny statism or Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s anti-Second Amendment agenda?” Cruz said in a Sunday opinion piece at Real Clear Politics.

Conservative Texans could, of course, avoid any such risk of support for liberal policies by only shopping online at businesses based in red states.

Texas is one of 45 states with a sales tax. Our colleagues at the CQ Roll Call Data Mine have an interactive graphic with all the details.

The National Retail Federation, which has advocated for the new legislation, made its last cry for votes in a letter circulated Monday morning.

“This collection disparity has tilted the competitive landscape against local stores, creating a crisis for brick-and-mortar retailers around the country and in your state,” wrote NRF Senior Vice President David French.

The NRF side is pretty darn near certain to prevail in this round, since the Senate’s already cleared the procedural hurdle of invoking cloture on the measure with 63 votes, leaving only a simple-majority vote ahead. But now is not the time for supporters to rejoice. Americans for Tax Reform head Grover Norquist, who has been pushing against the bill, tweeted Sunday that there was a “real danger” of the measure getting through the Senate, but he noted his side could prevail in the House.

In this case, Norquist prevailing would mean the yearslong effort of Sens. Michael B. Enzi, R-Wyo., Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill., and others to pass the sales tax collection bill would die in the GOP-controlled House.

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