By unanimous consent, the U.S. Senate on Thursday passed H.R. 5552 -- the Firearms Excise Tax Improvement Act -- sponsored by Congressmen Ron Kind (D-WI) and Paul Ryan (R-WI). S. 632, its Senate companion, was sponsored by Senators Max Baucus (D-MT) and Mike Crapo (R-ID).
“I would like to thank Senators Baucus and Crapo for their leadership in helping secure passage of this measure,” said Chris W. Cox, NRA’s chief lobbyist. "Firearm and ammunition manufacturers were unfairly mandated to pay their excise taxes biweekly while all other manufacturers paid their taxes quarterly. This was an undue burden on the industry. In addition to being equitable, the change to a quarterly excise tax payment schedule will allow manufacturers to reinvest funds into researching and developing new products, purchasing new manufacturing machinery and creating jobs without establishing a new tax, adding to the burgeoning federal deficit, or using any bailout money.”
The Joint Committee on Taxation has estimated that this legislation will create a net revenue increase of $4 million over ten years. Accordingly, S. 632 will increase funding for wildlife conservation through the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Trust Fund. The Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Trust Fund, established by enactment of federal legislation in 1937, authorizes the development of wildlife restoration projects across the country. This legislation will neither raise taxes nor exempt firearm and ammunition manufacturers from paying federal excise taxes into the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Trust Fund.
H.R. 5552, the House companion of S. 632, passed in the U.S. House of Representatives on June 29 by 412-6 margin with only a handful of congressmen -- John Conyers (D-MI), Sam Farr (D-CA), Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), Jerry Nadler (D-NY), Ron Paul (R-TX) and Maxine Waters (D-CA) -- voting against this common-sense measure. To view this roll call vote, click on: http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2010/roll400.xml.
The bill now goes to the President for his signature.