Conference Report on H.R. 644, Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015by Representative Ted Poe
Posted on 2015-12-11
POE of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I support free and fair trade. Where I
come from in Houston, Texas, we are an export city. We make a lot of
things, and we sell them all over the world, so I support trade.
Let's go back to the year 1898, Mr. Speaker. The Spanish-American War existed then. To help finance the war, Congress taxed a newfangled contraption called the telephone. The war was over. Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders had stormed San Juan Hill before the tax was actually completely collected, but World War I came around, and the tax reemerged.
Mr. Speaker, that war tax over 100 years ago is still on your telephone bill. You pick up your phone bill, and if you have a landline, you are still paying that war tax.
The point being, Mr. Speaker, once Congress imposes a tax, it seems like it never goes away. But, shock, in this legislation, it prohibits a tax that is already being collected in some States. Some States tax Internet access.
This bill does away with that tax. But it fairly allows States like Texas to phase it out until 2020. Good compromise. So let's eliminate a tax on Americans.
Mr. Speaker, don't get too excited. We may be eliminating one tax, but that war tax over 100 years ago that was implemented-still exists. Maybe we will get around to eliminating that eventually.
And that is just the way it is.