If the bill comes to a final vote in the full Senate, it is likely to pass. The Senate on Monday voted 74-20 to close debate and move to a final vote on the bill. However, late Thursday, another cloture vote picked up only 63 yes votes, while 30 senators voted no.
The legislation faces an uphill battle in the House of Representatives, where tax-averse Republicans hold the majority.
In recent days, several conservative groups, including the FreedomWorks Foundation, have stepped up lobbying against the bill, saying it would, in essence, mean a tax increase for Internet shoppers. Several tech trade groups also oppose the bill, while retail trade groups, Amazon.com, and the Consumer Electronics Association support the bill.
Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.