Mark Kirk on Technology
Republican Jr Senator; previously Representative (IL-10)
Opponent's Argument for voting No (Cnet.com): Online retailers are objecting to S.743, saying it's unreasonable to expect small businesses to comply with the detailed--and sometimes conflicting--regulations of nearly 10,000 government tax collectors. S.743 caps years of lobbying by the National Retail Federation and the Retail Industry Leaders Association, which represent big box stores. President Obama also supports the bill.
Proponent's Argument for voting Yes: Sen. COLLINS. This bill rectifies a fundamental unfairness in our current system. Right now, Main Street businesses have to collect sales taxes on every transaction, but outbecause -of-state Internet sellers don't have to charge this tax, they enjoy a price advantage over the mom-and-pop businesses. This bill would allow States to collect sales taxes on Internet sales, thereby leveling the playing field with Main Street businesses. This bill does not authorize any new or higher tax, nor does it impose an Internet tax. It simply helps ensure that taxes already owed are paid.
Opponent's Argument for voting No: Sen. WYDEN: This bill takes a function that is now vested in government--State tax collection--and outsources that function to small online retailers. The proponents say it is not going to be hard for small businesses to handle this--via a lot of new computer software and the like. It is, in fact, not so simple. There are more than 5,000 taxing jurisdictions in our country. Some of them give very different treatment for products and services that are almost identical.
Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Rep. RICK BOUCHER (D, VA-9): Fully 6.5 million households are totally unprepared for the transition on February 17; these 6.5 million households will lose all of their television service, and that number represents about 5.7% of the total American television viewing public. If almost 6%of the nation's households lose all of their television service, I think that most people would declare that the digital television transition has been a failure. In recognition of that reality, this legislation would delay the transition until June 12.
Opponent's argument to vote No:Rep. JOE LINUS BARTON (R, TX-6): The majority is trying to fix a problem that I do not think really exists. We have sent out 33 million coupons: 22 million of those coupons have been redeemed, and 11 million coupons are outstanding. The outstanding coupons are being redeemed, I think, by about 500,000 a week, something like that. In my opinion, you could keep the hard date and not have a problem, but if you think there is a problem, it is not from lack of money. We have appropriated $1.3 billion. About half of that is still in the Treasury, so the redemption rate is only about 52%. Even though we are delaying this until June 12 if this bill becomes law, according to the acting chairman of the FCC, 61% of the television stations in America are going to go ahead and convert to digital. 143 television stations already have converted, and in those areas where they have converted, I am not aware that there has been a huge problem.
Rep. LANGEVIN. One issue that has been repeatedly addressed is whether telecommunications companies should be granted immunity against pending lawsuits for their involvement in the earlier surveillance program. This legislation preserves a role for the U.S. court system to decide independently whether the telecommunications companies acted in good faith. Only after that review would the courts decide whether the telecommunications companies deserve any form of liability protection.
Opponents argument for voting NAY: Rep. LEVIN. I oppose this bill because of the provisions that would confer retroactive immunity on the telecommunications companies that participated in the Bush administration's warrantless surveillance program. It sets a dangerous precedent for Congress to approve a law that dismisses ongoing court cases simply on the basis that the companies can show that the administration told them that its warrantless surveillance program was legal. A program is not legal just because the administration claims that it is.
Rep. NADLER. The House must decide today whether to uphold the rule of law & the supremacy of the Constitution or whether to protect & reward the lawless behavior of the administration and of the telecommunications companies that participated in its clearly illegal program of spying on innocent Americans. The bill is a fig-leaf, granting blanket immunity to the telecom companies for illegal acts. It denies people whose rights were violated their fair day in court, and it denies the American people their right to have the actions of the administration subjected to fair & independent scrutiny.
Veto message from President Bush:
This bill lacks fiscal discipline. I fully support funding for water resources projects that will yield high economic and environmental returns. Each year my budget has proposed reasonable and responsible funding, including $4.9 billion for 2008, to support the Army Corps of Engineers' main missions. However, this authorization bill costs over $23 billion. This is not fiscally responsible, particularly when local communities have been waiting for funding for projects already in the pipeline. The bill's excessive authorization for over 900 projects and programs exacerbates the massive backlog of ongoing Corps construction projects, which will require an additional $38 billion in future appropriations to complete. This bill does not set priorities. I urge the Congress to send me a fiscally responsible bill that sets priorities.
Founded in the spring of 1996, the Congressional Internet Caucus is a bipartisan group of over 150 members of the House and Senate working to educate their colleagues about the promise and potential of the Internet. The Caucus also encourages Members to utilize the Internet in communications with constituents and supports efforts to put more government documents online. The Internet Caucus Advisory Committee and the Internet Education Foundation host regular events and forums for policymakers, the press, and the public to discuss important Internet-related policy issues.
A bill to prevent the Federal Communications Commission from repromulgating the fairness doctrine. Amends the Communications Act of 1934 to prohibit the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), notwithstanding any other provision of any Act, from having the authority to require broadcasters to present opposing viewpoints on controversial issues of public importance, commonly referred to as the Fairness Doctrine.
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Retiring in 2014 election:
Retired as of Jan. 2013:
Senate races Nov. 2016:
AK: Murkowski(R) vs.Metcalfe(D) vs.Miller(L) vs.
AL: Shelby(R) vs.Crumpton(D) vs.
AR: Boozman(R) vs.Eldridge(D) vs.Gilbert(L) vs.
AZ: McCain(R) vs.Kirkpatrick(D) vs.Mealer(I) vs.
CA: Sanchez(D) vs.Harris(D) vs.
CO: Bennet(D) vs.Glenn(R) vs.
CT: Blumenthal(D) vs.Carter(R) vs.
FL: Rubio(R) vs.Murphy(D) vs.
GA: Isakson(R) vs.Barksdale(D) vs.Buckley(L) vs.
HI: Schatz(D) vs.Carroll(R) vs.
IA: Grassley(R) vs.Judge(D) vs.
ID: Crapo(R) vs.Sturgill(D) vs.Pro-Life(C) vs.
IL: Kirk(R) vs.Duckworth(D) vs.
IN: Bayh(D) vs.Young(R) vs.
KY: Paul(R) vs.Gray(D) vs.
LA: Fleming(R) vs.Kennedy(D) vs.Campbell(D) vs.Boustany(R) vs.Maness(R) vs.Cao(R) vs.Clements(L)
MD: Van Hollen(D) vs.Szeliga(R) vs.Flowers(G) vs.
MO: Blunt(R) vs.Kander(D)
NC: Burr(R) vs.Ross(D) vs.Haugh(L) vs.
ND: Hoeven(R) vs.Glassheim(D) vs.Marquette(L)
NH: Ayotte(R) vs.Hassan(D) vs.Rubens(R)
NV: Cortez-Masto(D) vs.Heck(R) vs.
NY: Schumer(D) vs.Long(R) vs.Merced(L)
OH: Portman(R) vs.Strickland(D) vs.
OK: Lankford(R) vs.Workman(D) vs.
OR: Wyden(D) vs.Callahan(R) vs.
PA: Toomey(R) vs.McGinty(D) vs.
SC: Scott(R) vs.Dixon(D)
SD: Thune(R) vs.Williams(D)
UT: Lee(R) vs.Snow(D) vs.
VT: Leahy(D) vs.Milne(R)
WA: Murray(D) vs.Vance(R)
WI: Johnson(R) vs.Feingold(D) vs.Anderson(L) vs.
Senate Votes (analysis)