“One way or another, we will finish work on this measure before we leave for the in-state work period, even if it takes all weekend.”
Washington, DC– Nevada Senator Harry Reid spoke on the Senate floor today regarding the status of the Marketplace Fairness Act. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:
The United States Senate operates by cooperation and consent. So it was unfortunate that we could not yet reach an agreement yesterday to consider amendments to the Marketplace Fairness Act, a measure that would provide parity between brick-and-mortar retailers and online stores.
A few Senators have held up this important legislation – legislation for which proponents have advocated for more than a decade. The able sponsors of this bill – Senators Enzi, Durbin, and Alexander – are continuing to work to get an agreement on a list of amendments on which the senate can vote.
More than three-quarters of Senators support this measure. But as we saw with the anti-gun violence background check measure that failed last week, here in the Senate, a minority of Senators can block even measures with overwhelming support. This bill is no exception. Despite 75 votes to proceed to the Marketplace Fairness Act, just a few individual Senators are vowing to derail the legislation.
Absent consent, we will vote on cloture on this measure one hour after we convene on Friday. I remain open to an agreement to consider amendments to this legislation. And I remain eager to conduct a full and open debate on this bill. But one way or another, we will finish work on this measure before we leave for the in-state work period, even if it takes all weekend.
The calendar is simply too full to allow the Marketplace Fairness measure to hold over into next month. The Senate must complete work on job-creating water resources legislation and an agriculture bill during the May work period, so that we can move on to the immigration debate in June.