Harry Reid Works to Add Online Poker Bill to Tax Deal
December 8, 2010
(ChattahBox Political News)—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is working behind the scenes to include a measure legalizing online poker to the bipartisan tax cut deal, soon to be voted on in the Senate. He of course, is receiving opposition from Republican caucus members, such as Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ), but Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) is in favor of the measure that would not only legalize Internet gambling, but regulate it and provide much-needed tax revenues to states.
Reid is also receiving criticism for attempting to add a gambling measure to the tax cut bill, after a number of Las Vegas casinos supported his reelection campaign.
According to The Politico, the bill to legalize and regulate online poker has industry support, but a number of lawmakers oppose the legalization of online gambling, despite the fact that many Americans play anyway, through Internet companies located outside of the country. And Sen Kyl has pledged to block the measure.
“They’re trying,” said Hatch, who next year will become ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over parts of the gambling measure. “Sen. Reid would like to do that.” Republican leadership aides said the poker measure, which was drafted over the weekend at Reid’s request, wasn’t part of the deal the GOP reached with the White House. But a senior congressional official with knowledge of the ongoing talks said Reid has privately discussed the measure with the two Republican senators representing their caucus in the negotiations — Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona.”
“Kyl, a leading opponent of online gambling, told POLITICO he intends to block Reid’s proposal and vowed there is “zero chance — no chance whatsoever that would be part of the tax deal. I don’t think it would be the right thing to do.”’
The tax cut framework compromise is still being negotiated in Congress, not having sufficient votes in either the House or the Senate, with a number of Democrats fuming with anger over the deal to extend Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest two percent .