Well, well. Today Republican U.S. Sen. John Thune voted against invoking cloture on S.B. 743, aka the Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013. Meanwhile Democratic U.S. Sen. Tim Johnson voted for cloture. Johnson’s stand put him on the side favoring passage of the legislation, which would allow states to collect sales tax on purchases made over the Internet from businesses outside of their state borders. The cloture vote succeeded 63-30. The Senate now can proceed to the vote for final passage.
What led Thune to vote nay is hard to say. Where he votes in the end perhaps will be in favor of the bill. South Dakota for the past 12 years has fought for a streamlined sales tax system for the nation. Three successive Republican governors — Bill Janklow, Mike Rounds and Dennis Daugaard — support this effort.
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It’s hard to decipher what was going on today. From North Dakota, Democrat Heidi Heitkamp voted aye while Republican John Hoeven voted nay. Minnesota’s two Democrats voted aye, while Montana’s two Democrats voted nay. Nebraskas’s two Republicans voted aye. Wyoming’s Mike Enzi, the bill’s sponsor, voted aye, of course, but his fellow Republican, John Barrasso, was a nay. Iowa’s Republican Chuck Grassley voted nay, while Democrat Tom Harkin was an aye.
Of the 30 nays, 25 came from Republicans, including presidential prospects Marco Rubio of Florida and Rand Paul of Kentucky. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell was a nay, while Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid was a yea.