U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson and Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez issued a statement today calling for the Senate to make permanent the moratorium on Internet access taxes and on multiple or discriminatory taxes on electronic commerce. The Senate Commerce Committee will mark up S. 1453, the Internet Tax Freedom Extension Act of 2007, on Thursday.

"The Internet is an innovative force that opens up the vast potential economic and social benefits of electronic commerce. Preventing the taxation of Internet access will help sustain an environment for innovation, ensure that consumers continue to have affordable access to the Internet, especially high-speed Internet, and strengthen the foundations of electronic commerce as a vital and growing part of our economy.

"Congress has an opportunity to demonstrate bipartisan leadership by passing essential legislation before the current moratorium expires on November 1 of this year. We urge the Congress to expedite passage of a permanent extension so that President Bush can sign it into law before the current moratorium expires.

"The Administration has worked hard, in a bipartisan fashion, to promote innovation and the economic benefits that come from electronic commerce. We look forward to working with Congress on this important issue."