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House Proceeding on Mar 17th, 2010 :: 0:47:00 to 0:54:55
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Anthony D. Weiner

0:46:56 to 0:47:17( Edit History Discussion )

Anthony D. Weiner: support passage of this bill. mr. speaker, i urge my colleagues to support this legislation. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from tennessee is recognized. mr. cohen: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield as much time as is remaining which he consumes to the silver throated representative from new york,

Anthony D. Weiner

0:47:00 to 0:54:55( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Anthony D. Weiner

Anthony D. Weiner

0:47:18 to 0:47:38( Edit History Discussion )

Anthony D. Weiner: mr. weiner. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york is recognized for as much time as he may consume. mr. weiner: thank you very much. i thank the ranking member for his informed remarks about this bill. i want to thank also the chairman of our full committee for reaching to this point. the fact is that the various states have different levels of

Anthony D. Weiner

0:47:39 to 0:48:00( Edit History Discussion )

Anthony D. Weiner: tax on their tobacco products. some states are very high. my state of new york is among the highest. our city puts an additional tax. it is one of the prerogatives of the different states. some have chosen to tax more. some have chosen to tax less. but the fact is that there is an enormous economy around

Anthony D. Weiner

0:48:01 to 0:48:22( Edit History Discussion )

Anthony D. Weiner: essentially violating the law. there are internet tobacco sites that exist with the sole purpose apparently to be to delir tobacco to people outside the realm of taxation. that's a problem. it's a problem not just because it makes it impossibl states to collect taxes that they have levied, but it's also a problem because it encourages

Anthony D. Weiner

0:48:23 to 0:48:43( Edit History Discussion )

Anthony D. Weiner: by sale of internet tobacco encourages underaged smoking. it also makes it very easy tore anyone who wants to commit illicit acts. when the government accounting office took a look at a smuggling ring that they discovered in the early part of this century, they found that hezbollah, the international terrorist organization, was

Anthony D. Weiner

0:48:44 to 0:49:04( Edit History Discussion )

Anthony D. Weiner: using this difference in taxes to fund their illicit activity. here's how it would work. they would purchase tobacco at a low tax rate in north carolina, they would ship it to a higher tax state in michigan, and the difference that they saved by selling the cheaper tobacco in michigan would produce millions of dollars.

Anthony D. Weiner

0:49:05 to 0:49:25( Edit History Discussion )

Anthony D. Weiner: but it is not just international terrorist organizations and not just underaged smokers that are using this gap in the laws to undermine our interstate commerce, but it is also just everyday citizens who have become scoff flaws by using --

Anthony D. Weiner

0:49:26 to 0:49:47( Edit History Discussion )

Anthony D. Weiner: scofflaws by using internet tobacco sale. how does this act sponsored by senator kohl and passed by a broad margin when we earlier considered this, how does it solve the problem? one, it is already by agreement u.p.s., fedex, d.h.l., the major common carriers already

Anthony D. Weiner

0:49:48 to 0:50:08( Edit History Discussion )

Anthony D. Weiner: said we think it's wrong to be facilitating this by making deliveries for internet tobacco companies. . they have agreed to. it's in place in all 50 states. there is only one common carrier that today still delivers tobacco through the mail. the united states postal service. they came to us and said, congress, if you really want us

Anthony D. Weiner

0:50:09 to 0:50:29( Edit History Discussion )

Anthony D. Weiner: not to mail this, you've got to define what a nonmailable material is and you've got to ask the list. that's what the pact act does. you can no longer mail tobacco through the mail once this becomes law. so it's going to make it very, very difficult if not impossible for internet tobacco sales to coninue. a second thing that it does, is

Anthony D. Weiner

0:50:30 to 0:50:50( Edit History Discussion )

Anthony D. Weiner: that transaction that i described where you buy something cheaply and don't pay taxes on it or pay a lower tax than you are supposed to is already a violation of the law. but effectively those violations a never prosecuted because under the jenkins act, which is the structure of the law that enforces this, it's only a misdemeanor. that's going to change.

Anthony D. Weiner

0:50:51 to 0:51:12( Edit History Discussion )

Anthony D. Weiner: in this bill it's going to become a felony. if you think you're going to skirt the law by driving to your neighborhood indian reservation, buying boxes and boxes or cases and cases of cigarettes, not paying taxes on it, well, now, that's a violation of the jenkins act that rises to a felony so it might make sense for the u.s. attorney or for an attorney general to say, we are going to

Anthony D. Weiner

0:51:13 to 0:51:33( Edit History Discussion )

Anthony D. Weiner: do a stakeout here. if we find internet -- untaxed tobacco being sold or undertaxed tobacco being sold, we are going to crack down on it. a third thing it ds is it increases the enforcement of the act that is supposed to happen. when you buy something in a low tax state, you are supposed to pay the taxes in your home state. this is going to increase the

Anthony D. Weiner

0:51:34 to 0:51:55( Edit History Discussion )

Anthony D. Weiner: reporting requirements for anyone that sells these products. it's going to have to report back to your home state that the taxes that are owed. now, what is this going to mean in addition to cutting down underaged smoking? this is going to mean that states and localities are going to find that they are going to start collecting the taxes they are supposed to.

Anthony D. Weiner

0:51:56 to 0:52:20( Edit History Discussion )

Anthony D. Weiner: and again, we have people who support lower tobacco taxes on this bill. people who support higher tobacco taxes on this bill. this is not an issue of whether you think there should or should not be tobacco taxes. i think there's bipartisan agreement that there is within the right of the 50 states the ability to levy these taxes and the sovereignty of those 50 states depend upon them being

Anthony D. Weiner

0:52:21 to 0:52:41( Edit History Discussion )

Anthony D. Weiner: able to collect it. what this is going to be able to do now is we are going to make sure, we are going to make sure that in the context of this debate that these tobacco taxes get collected. no one knows exactly what is being abailted here, but there is one estimate that as much as a billion dollars in new york state alone is being abated.

Anthony D. Weiner

0:52:42 to 0:53:03( Edit History Discussion )

Anthony D. Weiner: we are finally going to be able to get control of this problem. al 51 state attorneys general have supported the pact act. all of the national association of convenience stores, the american wholesale association, even the major tobacco companies who understand that there is a regime that's been set up in the 50 states, they

Anthony D. Weiner

0:53:04 to 0:53:25( Edit History Discussion )

Anthony D. Weiner: want it to be followed, too. so companies like al truea deserve credit for saying, you know what, while there are a lot of hot dwabets about tobacco use in this country, there should not be a hot debate about whether or not we enforce the laws of the 50 states. i also want to thank my republican colleagues here. mr. smith and his colleagues in

Anthony D. Weiner

0:53:26 to 0:53:47( Edit History Discussion )

Anthony D. Weiner: a bipartisan coalition have said, you know what, you are going to be tough on crime, we are going to be tough on this crime as well. and have every step of the way made suggestions that have improved this legislation. and i also -- this is the part that's the toughest to say. i want to thank my colleagues in the senate, 290 times we

Anthony D. Weiner

0:53:48 to 0:54:09( Edit History Discussion )

Anthony D. Weiner: have sent legislation in their direction and while i think it was benjamin franklin who called the senate the cooling sauce of our democratcy, they have been more akin to a meat locker in recent months and i want to commend senator kohl for figuring out a way to extract something from that frigid environment and hopefully we'll be getting this

Anthony D. Weiner

0:54:10 to 0:54:31( Edit History Discussion )

Anthony D. Weiner: to the president's desk. this is an important thing what we are doing here. and this is going to allow stites to collect revenue they are supposed to have. every anti-smoking organization that's concerned about underaged smoking has been active in making this happen. 27 public health groups, the campaign for tobacco free kids,

Anthony D. Weiner

0:54:32 to 0:54:54( Edit History Discussion )

Anthony D. Weiner: the american heart association, american cancer society, the american lung association. i think all of us who are concerned about keeping tobacco out of the hands of children recognize that this giant gap in our law that allows them to get it on the internet without any age verification which is another element of this bi that's going to be -- going to

Anthony D. Weiner

0:54:55 to 0:54:55( Edit History Discussion )

Anthony D. Weiner: become law has a stake in

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