Cooper and Durbin talk immigration and sales tax

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin was in Nashville with U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper Tuesday to drum up support for Internet sales tax collection and an immigration overhaul.

Durbin is an Illinois Democrat who is sponsoring the Marketplace Fairness Act with Tennessee U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander and others.

Durbin said Internet businesses now have an unfair advantage over brick and mortar businesses. He said consumers use local stores as showrooms to pick a product that they then go buy on the Internet. He said consumers are legally obligated to pay sales tax on Internet purchases but most do not.

Durbin also is one of a bipartisan group of eight senators who crafted a bill to overhaul the immigration system. On Tuesday he and Cooper were cautiously optimistic that it would pass.