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Sep 25

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Hertiage Action Sentinel Weekly Update – 9/22/14; Ex-Im Bank, Lame Duck session, Internet sales tax

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Tracking these weekly Sentinel Call summaries is important for informed voters. Knowing how your representatives vote on key issues helps you to understand whether they share your values and have the political integrity to act on these values.

Here is a summary of Russ Vought’s explanation on the Sentinel Call on how to look at the vote on the Export-Import Bank this past week.

 

Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) once said, “I’ll let you write the substance…you let me write the procedure, and I’ll [beat] you every time.” In other words, process is policy, and Congressmen who vote on auto-pilot on process fail to represent their constituents on a vast number of votes.

>> See The Scorecard

>> Ask Your Member To Publicly Oppose Reauthorizing Ex-Im In June

Weekly Call Notes

The House and Senate are not 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: Last week, Congress voted to pass a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government through December 11, 2014 (319–108 in the House; 78–22 in the Senate). Among other provisions, this measure authorized the arming and training of Syrian rebels and extended the Export-Import Bank’s charter until June 30, 2015.

In the span of six months, conservatives were able to take Ex-Im from a little-known corporate welfare entity to the public poster child for cronyism and corruption. Conservatives indeed won the policy argument, and this short-term extension will deprive members of the political argument next June (as Leadership will be unable to attach reauthorization to a must-pass funding bill). It would have been better for Congress to have simply allowed Ex-Im to lapse, but conservatives are still poised to stop this agency from being reauthorized long-term.

But the accountability battle must not waver. When you talk to your member this recess, ask how he or she voted on Ex-Im, and secure a commitment to oppose reauthorization in June.

Potential Lame Duck: By only extending funding for two months to December 11th, the CR set up a time-bomb for bad legislation to be passed in the lame duck session.

Conservatives must be on guard during this session, as Congress attempts to pass any number of liberal policies such as a new full-year “omnibus” spending bill, an internet sales tax, etc. There will be a loud cry from both parties to “clear the deck” and both pass bad policies while the votes are still there and avoid politically controversial issues in the new year.

Internet Sales Tax: The recent CR extended the Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA), for two months, as well. ITFA 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/

Conservative Policy Agenda: http://heritageaction.com/agenda/

Best,

Stephanie Kreuz

Midwest Regional Coordinator
Heritage Action for America
Cell: 202-258-4703
www.heritageaction.com
Twitter: @skreuz

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