Outgoing Sen. Allen touts Net efforts

Even as he conceded defeat in a tight U.S. Senate race, Virginia Republican George Allen trumpeted his leadership on a law that prohibits taxes on Internet access.

Among his self-proclaimed accomplishments during his six years as a senator was ensuring "folks who are on the Internet don't have taxes on their access," an upbeat Allen said during a Thursday afternoon speech in Alexandria, Va.

He was referring to his co-authorship of a 2004 bill known as the Internet Tax Nondiscrimination Act, which extended the tax moratorium until 2007. (Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden, a Democrat, co-sponsored the measure and wrote the 1998 law that started the ban.)

Allen also lobbied for making that prohibition permanent, and earlier this year, he proposed an amendment designed to do just that. The Senate Commerce Committee approved the amendment and the sweeping communications bill to which it was attached, but no action has occurred since then.

Flanked by his wife, his youngest son, and longtime Virginia Republican Sen. John Warner, Allen told cheering supporters that he would remain committed to making sure the United States is the "world capital of innovation."

The outgoing senator, who presided over the Senate Republican High Tech Task Force during his tenure in office, scored tops among senators in his party in a recent CNET News.com analysis.

It's less clear where Virginia senator-elect Jim Webb, who edged out Allen by about 7,500 votes to tip the chamber to a Democratic majority, stands on tech. According to the liberal blog MyDD, the former U.S. Marine supports Net neutrality regulations favored by Internet companies, consumer groups, and many other Democrats--and opposed by Allen.

 

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