Can the Internet Sales Tax Bill Pass in the House?

| Tue May 7, 2013 10:01 AM EDT

You may recall that I wrote a few weeks ago about a bill pending in the Senate that would allow states to collect sales tax on internet sales. Well, it passed. But here's the interesting bit:

But opposition from some conservatives who view it as a tax increase will make it a tougher sell in the House....Republican Speaker John Boehner has not commented publicly about the bill, giving supporters hope that he could be won over.

Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, which would have jurisdiction over the bill, has cited problems with the legislation but has not rejected it outright. “While it attempts to make tax collection simpler, it still has a long way to go,” Goodlatte said in a statement. Without more uniformity in the bill, he said, “businesses would still be forced to wade through potentially hundreds of tax rates and a host of different tax codes and definitions.”

This is a bill that got the support of 21 out of 45 Republicans in the Senate. It's genuinely bipartisan. And yet, it's still a question mark in the House. If a bill with support from Amazon, support from most of the business community, support from most of the states, and support from half the Senate GOP caucus ends up not passing in the House, we're in even worse shape than we thought. This is a canary in the coal mine.