|Senate Adjourns Until May 6 Without Passing
Internet Sales Tax Bill
4/25. Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) announced
in a nearly empty Senate chamber late on Thursday, April 25 that the Senate will
adjourn until Monday, May 6, without passing S 743
WW], a bill
that would authorize states to compel out of state retailers to collect sales taxes
on internet and other remote sales.
This is a setback for Sen. Reid, who had attempted to force this bill through the
Senate, on short notice, and without review and mark up by the committee with
jurisdiction, the Senate Finance Committee
This delay gives opposition groups more time to put into play a grass
roots campaign to defeat the bill.
Sen. Reid (at left) said that the Senate will pass
S 743 when it returns in May.
Opponents of the bill have been waging a filibuster. Sen. Reid prevailed on the
first cloture vote (which requires 60 votes for passage) on Monday, by a vote of 74-20. See,
Roll Call No. 107, and story titled "Senate Invokes Cloture on Internet
Sales Tax Bill" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 2,552, April 22, 2013.
Max Baucus (D-MT), the Chairman of the SFC, and
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), a senior member of
the SFC, are leading opponents of the bill. Both also represent states that have no
state sales tax.
Sen. Baucus also announced on Monday, April 22, that he will not run for re-election
in 2014, thereby diminishing the Democrats' chances of maintaining their majority in
the Senate. However, he did not associate his decision not to run with Sen. Reid's
decision to snub his committee.
See also, Sen. Baucus's April 22
titled "Baucus Throws Down The Gauntlet In Fight Against Online Sales Tax".
Sen. Reid taunted the filibustering Senators on Wednesday, April 24. "We have
a small number of Senators who are holding this up, stalling. This has 50
Democratic votes and at least 25 Republican votes."
These Senators "are playing procedural games", but, Sen. Reid said,
"There is no chance they can prevail. We have three States basically holding up
"We are going to finish this legislation this week." And, said Sen. Reid,
"If we have to be here Friday and Saturday, I am telling everybody we are going to
finish this bill."
Later in the day, the Senate voted on a motion to proceed to S 743. It
passed by a vote of 74-23. See,
Roll Call No. 110. Democrats from three states voted no -- Sen. Baucus,
Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT), Sen. Wyden,
Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), and
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)
-- along with 18 Republicans.
On Thursday, at 5:30 PM the Senate voted on a second motion to invoke
cloture. It narrowly passed by a vote of 63-30. See,
Roll Call No. 111. Sen. Baucus, Sen. Tester, Sen. Wyden, Sen. Merkley, and
Sen. Sheehan voted no, along with 25 Republicans.
Over the course of three votes, opposition grew from 20 to 23 to 30 votes.
Also, Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) and
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) missed the April 25 vote,
due to the opening ceremony for the
George W. Bush Presidential Library and
Museum at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas on April 25. Both voted
no in the April 22 and 24 votes.
Sen. Cruz stated in a
release that "Had
I been present for the vote, I would have emphatically voted `no.´"
"Congress should not pass a massive new Internet sales tax", said Sen.
Cruz. "The Democratic leadership should not be doing the bidding of major corporate
lobbyists, at the expense of mom-and-pop retailers across America. Forcing small
Internet retailers to comply with the taxing authority of over 9600 jurisdictions
nationwide would kill jobs and stifle economic growth. There's no reason for the
Senate to pass this flawed bill -- skipping the committee process and rushing the
bill forward to stifle debate."
"In Montana, our budget has a surplus because we've handled our money
wisely," said Sen. Tester in a
don't have a sales tax and have twice voted against having one. This bill would
impose new tax burdens on small businesses and create more bureaucracy and more
accountants. It's bad policy that will fundamentally alter the rights of
Sen. Sheehan stated that "this is a bill that fundamentally violates states'
video. She wants an amendment that would allow states to opt out.
Many tech groups oppose this bill. See for example, TechAmerica
release, Information Technology Industry Council
video, and TechNet
See also, National Taxpayers Union (NTU)
release, and Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI)
article titled "The Internet Sales Tax Reveals Its Foolish Head Yet Again".
|EC Seeks Public Comment on Google's Proposed
4/25. The European Commission (EC) published a set of
commitments [61 pages in PDF] proposed by Google to avoid EC action under
its antitrust laws, and the EC's
public comments on those proposed commitments.
The deadline to submit comments is "one month from publication in the
Official Journal of the European Union".
The EC's request states that "The Commission's preliminary view is that
Google is dominant in the European Economic Area (EEA) both in web search and
search advertising. For instance, Google has been holding market shares in web
search well above 90% in most European countries for several years now, a level
which is higher than in many other parts of the world. There are also
significant barriers to entry and network effects in both markets."
It also states that "The Commission has
also reached the preliminary conclusion that in four areas Google may be abusing
its dominant position in the EEA ... Such abuses would be in breach of Article
102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU)."
The EC listed four competition concerns.
"The first competition concern relates to the way Google displays links to its
own specialised search services in its web search results."
"The second competition concern relates to
the way Google uses without consent content from competing specialised search
services in its own offerings.
"The third competition concern relates to
exclusivity requirements in Google's agreements with publishers (i.e. any third
party web site such as newspapers) with regard to Google online search
advertisements displayed on those publishers' web sites. The Commission is
concerned that these requirements oblige publishers to obtain all or most of
their online search advertisements from Google."
"The fourth competition concern relates to
Google contractually restricting the possibility to transfer online search
advertising campaigns away from Google's AdWords and to simultaneously manage
such campaigns on competing online search advertising platforms."
The EC's request adds that the EC is also
"thoroughly examining all other allegations brought to its attention by
different market players with a view to deciding whether or not a further
investigation of those issues is warranted. Google's Android related business
practices are part of those issues."
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has
already examined Google, and declined to take significant antitrust action. See,
titled "FTC Concludes Its Investigation of Google" in
TLJ Daily E-Mail
Alert No. 2,504, January 7, 2013.
The EC stated that "The factual and legal environments are different in the
US and Europe. In particular, Bing and Yahoo represent a substantial alternative to
Google in web search in the USA", but not in Europe.
Fair Search (FS) stated in a
release that "Google's proposed commitments appear to fall short of ending
the preferential treatment at the heart of the Commission’s case based on formal
complaints from 17 companies. Google’s own screen shots in its proposal (see p.
30) shows it seeks approval to continue preferential treatment for its own
products." (Parentheses in original.)
FS is a group that represents Expedia, Microsoft, Nokia, Oracle, TripAdvisor and
other mostly U.S. companies in seeking to induce antitrust regulators around the world
to regulate Google's business practices.
See also, story titled "Fair Search Files Complaint with EC About Google Mobile
Practices" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 2,548, April 9, 2013.
4/24. The Senate confirmed Jane Kelly to be a Judge of the
of Appeals (8thCir) by a vote of 96-0. See,
Roll Call No. 108.
4/24. The Senate confirmed Sylvia Burwell to be Director of the
of Management and Budget by a vote of 96-0. See,
Roll Call No. 109 and
statement by President Obama.
4/24. Gary Shapiro, head of the Consumer
Electronics Association (CEA), sent a letter to President Obama regarding
selection of the next Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), to
replace Julius Genachowski. Responding to a
letter "from groups purporting to represent the ``public interest´´",
he wrote that "having real world business experience is a plus for a policy job
affecting businesses". He also urged the selection of someone who holds the
"view that freeing up spectrum is important for future innovation and for the
millions of tablets, smartphones and other connected devices to come to work as
4/23. Maryam Cope and Miguel Martínez will join the
Information Technology Industry Council (ITIC).
Cope previously worked for former Sen. Kay Hutchison (R-TX) and the Senate
Commerce Committee (SCC). Martinez previously worked for
Rep. John Lewis (D-GA),
a member of the House Ways and Means
Committee (HWMC). See, ITIC
|This issue contains the following items:
• Senate Adjourns Until May 6 Without Passing Internet Sales Tax Bill
• EC Seeks Public Comment on Google's Proposed Antitrust Commitments
• People and Appointments
New items are highlighted in
|Friday, April 26
The House will meet at 9:00 AM for
legislative business. The House will resume consideration of HR 527
"Responsible Helium Administration and Stewardship Act". See, Rep.
The Senate will meet at 11:30 AM in
pro forma session. It will return from a one week recess on May 6.
Supreme Court conference day. See, Supreme Court
8:30 - 11:00 AM. The
Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) will host a panel
discussion titled "Bandwidth for the Buck: The State of Broadband
Access and Competition in the US". The speakers will be
Robert Atkinson (ITIF),
Robert Atkinson (Columbia
Institute for Tele-Information),
(Navigant), and Jodie Griffin
(Public Knowledge). See,
notice. Location: ITIF/ITIC, Suite 610A, 1101 K St., NW.
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM. The Federal Communications
Commission's (FCC) Consumer Advisory Committee will meet. See,
notice in the Federal Register, Vol. 78, No. 67, April 8, 2013, at Pages
20918-20919. Location: FCC, Commission Meeting Room, 445 12th St., SW.
1:00 - 2:30 PM. The American
Bar Association (ABA) will host a webcast and teleconferenced panel discussion
titled "IP and the Comic Book Superhero". The speakers will be
(Stanford University Hoover Project on Commercializing Innovation), Brad Desnoyer
Janet Fries (Drinker Biddle & Reath), Martha Voelz (S. H. Jacobs &
Postolski (Day Pitney). Prices vary. CLE credits. See,
|Monday, April 29
The House will not meet the week of April 29 through
May 3. See, House
for the 113th Congress, 1st Session.
2:00 - 4:15 PM. The Brookings
Institution (BI) and Center for Strategic and
International Studies (CSIS) will host a pair of panel discussions titled
"Taiwan's Response to an Evolving Security Environment". The
speakers will be Richard Bush
(BI), Bonnie Glaser (CSIS),
Andrew Yang (Taiwan's Vice Minister of National Defense for Policy), Chia-Sheng
Chen (Taiwan Ministry of National Defense), and
Saunders (National Defense University). See, CSIS
notice and BI
registration page. There will be no live webcast. The BI will publish an
archived audio recording later in the day, and a transcript within a couple of
days. Location: BI, 1775 Massachusetts Ave., NW.
6:00 - 8:15 PM. The Federal
Communications Bar Association (FCBA) will host an event titled "FirstNet:
Views from the Inside and Outside". Prices vary. CLE credits. Registrations
and cancellations are due by 12:00 NOON on Friday, April 26. See,
Location: Squire Sanders, 1200 19th
EXTENDED TO JUNE 21.
Deadline to submit
reply comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to its
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) regarding elevating the allocation
status of Earth Stations Aboard Aircraft (ESAA) in the 14.0-14.5 GHz band from
secondary to primary and whether giving ESAA licensees primary status in the
14.0-14.5 GHz band would require a change to the technical rules. The FCC adopted
this NPRM on December 20, 2012, and released it on December 28, 2012. It is FCC
12-161 in IB Docket No. 12-376. See also, original
notice in the Federal Register, Vol. 78, No. 46, March 8, 2013, at Pages
14952-14957. See, second
notice in the FR, Vol. 78, No. 61, March 29, 2013, at Page 19172.
Deadline to submit comments to the Department of Commerce's (DOC)
National Institute of Standards and Technology
(NIST) regarding the cyber security regulatory regime initiated by
Executive Order of February 13, 2013. See,
in the Federal Register Vol. 78, No. 60, March 28, 2013, at Pages 18954-18955. See
also, stories titled "Obama Signs Cyber Security Order and Policy Directive"
in TLJ Daily E-Mail
Alert No. 2,525, February 19, 2013, and "NIST Issues Cyber Security NOI"
in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 2,542, March 27, 2013.
Deadlines to submit nominations to the Department of Commerce (DOC)
for membership on its Federal Economic
Statistics Advisory Committee. See,
in the Federal Register, Vol. 78, No. 61, March 29, 2013, at Pages 19191-19192.
|Tuesday, April 30
TIME? The Department of State's (DOS) International Telecommunication
Advisory Committee's (ITAC) ITAC-D ad hoc will meet to discuss preparation for
the ITU World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC 2014). See,
notice in the Federal Register, Vol. 78, No. 57, March 25, 2013, at Pages
17992-17993. Location: Fourth floor West Tower, 1300 I St., NW.
1:00 - 5:00 PM. The Department of Commerce's (DOC)
National Telecommunications and Information
Administration (NTIA) will hold another in its series of meetings
regarding mobile application transparency. See,
in the Federal Register, Vol. 78, No. 62, April 1, 2013, at Pages 19461-19462.
Location: American Institute of Architects, 1735 New York Ave., NW.
6:00 PM. Deadline to submit applications to participate in Federal
Communications Commission (FCC)
Auction 95. This auction of licenses in the lower and upper paging bands
is scheduled to begin on July 16, 2013. This is AU Docket No. 13-12. See,
in the Federal Register, Vol. 78, No. 80, April 25, 2013, Pages 24404-24420.
Deadline to submit reply comments to the Federal
Communications Commission's (FCC) Media Bureau (MB) in response to its
Public Notice, DA 13-281 in MB Docket No. 13-50, released on February 26,
2013, regarding the August 31, 2012
letter from the Coalition for Broadcast Investment regarding FCC
restrictions on foreign ownership and voting interests. See also,
notice in the Federal Register Vol. 78, No. 55, March 21, 2013, at Pages
Extended deadline to submit comments to the
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)
regarding whether there should be a small claims process for patent
enforcement. See, original
notice in the Federal Register (FR), Vol. 77, No. 243, December 18, 2012,
at Pages 74830-74831, and extension
notice in the FR, Vol. 78, No. 44, March 6, 2013, at Pages 14515-14516.
See also, story titled "USPTO Seeks Comments on Creation of Patent Small
Claims Process" in
TLJ Daily E-Mail
Alert No. 2,494, December 19, 2012.
|Wednesday, May 1
9:30 AM. The Securities and Exchange
Commission's (SEC) Advisory Committee on Small and Emerging Companies
will meet. See,
notice. Location: SEC, Multi-Purpose Room LL-006, 100 F St., NE.
12:15 - 1:30 PM. The Federal
Communications Bar Association's (FCBA) Engineering and Technical Committee will
host a brown bag lunch titled "Wireline Broadband Technology Advances --
Getting a Gigabit to the Home". Location: T-Mobile, North Building, Suite
800, 601 Pennsylvania Ave., NW.
|Thursday, May 2
1:00 PM. The US Telecom
will host a webcast seminar titled "IP and Optical Evolution".
The speaker will be Greg Nehib (Cisco). Free. Open to the public. See,
6:00 - 8:00 PM. The New America
Foundation (NAF) will host an event at which Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen
will discuss their book titled "The New Digital Age: Reshaping the Future
of People, Nations and Business". See,
Location: McDermott Building, 500 North Capitol St., NW.
6:00 - 8:15 PM. The Federal
Communications Bar Association (FCBA) will host an event titled "An
Update on the Open Internet Order and Its Impact". Prices vary. CLE credits.
Registrations and cancellations due by 12:00 NOON on Wednesday, May 1. See,
Location: Dow Lohnes, 1200 New Hampshire Ave., NW.
|Friday, May 3
8:30 AM. The Department of Labor's (DOL)
Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is
scheduled to release its April 2013 unemployment data.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will host an event
titled "workshop" in its incentive auctions rulemaking proceeding,
GN Docket No. 12-268. See, FCC
Notice (DA 13-614). See also, FCC's
of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), and story titled "FCC Announces Workshop
on Incentive Auction's 600 MHz Band Plan" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 2,546,
April 4, 2013. Location: FCC, Commission Meeting Room, TW-C305, 445 12th
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