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Sep 19

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Hertiage Action Sentinel Weekly Update – 9/15/14; Ex-Im Bank, Internet sales tax

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Weekly Call Notes (9/15/14)

The House and Senate are in session.

Sentinel Summit: We hope that all Sentinels will consider joining us at our first-ever annual Sentinel Summit! We hope to share more stories from the trenches, discuss new skills, and preview the policy fights on the horizon this coming November in Atlanta! The more connected we are, the more we’ll be able to know, grow, and go in 2015. 

Register today for the early bird special! http://heritageaction.com/sentinelsummit./

Export-Import Bank: The continuing resolution (CR) the House is expected to consider this week will likely include a nine-month extension of Ex-Im. While some in Congress have attempted to frame the short-term nature of the reauthorization as a victory, GOP Leadership has given no indication that they will allow the bank to expire next June, and it will require a great deal of activism in the midst of many different legislative priorities. Heritage Action opposes any reauthorization or extension of the Ex-Im Bank and will key vote accordingly. Sentinels should continue to press for the Ex-Im extension to be dropped from the CR.

Syria Funding: At the President’s request, Congress is considering attaching funding for the training of Syrian rebels to the CR. As Heritage Action CEO Michael Needham has said:

“It is unconscionable to expect lawmakers to make a decision on this complex, complicated policy issue as the administration simultaneously invokes the specter of a government shutdown.  President Obama’s Syria policy should be considered separately from the CR.”  

ISIS Situation: The ISIS threat is indeed grave and there are serious steps the U.S. can take to address the rising violence in Iraq. As Heritage Foundation Vice President of the Institute for National Security James Carafano has explained:

To halt the flow of foreign fighters, the U.S. should focus on disrupting pipeline operations in Turkey and other “countries of transit” where fighters stage to move in and out of the Syria-Iraq theatre. The rest of the solution lies in helping native assets on the ground do their jobs better. Kurdish security forces and volunteers are more than willing and capable of defending themselves.

What they need is rapid, effective support from the U.S. and other friends and allies. In the south, the Iraq military is still a force to be reckoned with. What’s needed in both areas are air support, skilled advisors, intelligence gathering, ammo and other supplies.

Driving ISIS out of Iraq is fundamental to diminishing its capabilities. Carafano concludes:

The first step in winning any war is to stop losing. The U.S. should assist the Iraqis in taking back their country and winning a future that promises peace and prosperity rather than violence and oppression.

Internet Sales Tax: The CR will contain a two-month extension of the Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA), which prevents states and localities from imposing taxes on internet access (sometimes called “email taxes”). This places the expiration of ITFA right in the middle of a lame duck session. ITFA has enjoyed widespread support since it was first enacted in 1998. In fact, the House recently passed a bill, H.R. 3086, making the moratorium permanent, by a simple voice vote. The companion bill is sponsored and championed in the Senate by none other than the Chairman of the Finance Committee, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR).

Despite this clear mandate for a permanent extension, pro-internet sales tax members of the Senate are holding a permanent solution hostage to try to jam through their unpopular tax on internet sales, ironically known as the Marketplace Fairness Act. Sensing that the time was not quite right to try their internet sales tax gambit in weeks before an important national election, the members engaged in a strategic retreat on the issue, calculating that their best chance of passing their plan would be with a short-term extension of ITFA that pushed the issue into the lame duck.

Find out more here: http://heritageaction.com/2014/09/obamas-plan-tax-internet/

Town Hall Update: http://heritageaction.com/2014/09/recess-accountability-townhalls/

Best,

Stephanie Kreuz
Midwest Regional Coordinator

Heritage Action for America
Cell: 202-258-4703
www.heritageaction.com

Twitter: @skreuz

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