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The Internet sales tax: Where is Jeanne Shaheen?

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has been working since Tuesday to bring the absurdly misnamed "Marketplace Fairness Act" up for a vote, Politico reported this week. The bill, which would put the New Hampshire Advantage in serious jeopardy, could come before the full Senate as early as next week. As all of this unfolds, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen remains strangely silent.

Shaheen voted against the bill in a non-binding test vote in the Senate weeks ago, as did Sen. Kelly Ayotte. Before and since that vote, Ayotte has been vocal in her opposition. She has rallied New Hampshire businesses to oppose it, has spoken forcefully against it in Washington, and has tried to win other senators' votes. But Ayotte is in the minority party in the Senate, which is run with a strong hand by Democrat Reid. Shaheen, a well-connected Democrat and New Hampshire's senior senator, would have more pull than Ayotte on this issue. Yet she has left the fighting to Ayotte.

The bill would let states with sales taxes reach across state lines and collect sales taxes on items their residents purchase online in other states. Sen. Max Baucus, D-Montana has publicly clashed with Reid over this bill several times. Like New Hampshire, Montana has no sales tax. Baucus has publicly battled his party on this issue of vital importance to his state. Why hasn't Shaheen?


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